​Compressed Gas Cylinder Program ​ ​ ​ ​
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There are several labs and shops throughout the University that utilize compressed gas cylinders. Compressed gas cylinders present potential exposures to both chemical and mechanical hazards and because of this, special storage and handling precautions are necessary. 

The hazards associated with compressed gases include oxygen displacement, explosion, toxic effect of some gases, as well as the physical hazards of a ruptured cylinder. There are numerous types of materials in gas cylinders including atmospheric gases, fuel gases, refrigerant gases, poison gases and miscellaneous gases. 

Compressed gases are usually divided into six basic categories, with some gases falling into more than one classification. The 6 categories are as follows:

  • ​Flammable Gases
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  • Oxygen and Oxidizing Gases
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  • Acid and Alkaline Gases
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  • Inert Gases
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  • Highly Toxic Gases
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  • ​​​Cryogenic Liquefied Gases

A sudden release of these gases can cause a cylinder to become a missile-like projectile, destroying everything in its path! Cylinders have been known to penetrate concrete-block walls. To prevent such a dangerous situation, there are several general procedures to follow for safe storage and handling of a compressed gas cylinder. ​ ​
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For the Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety Training Module, Click Here
For the full version of the Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety Manual and PolicyClick Here
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To request gas cylinder tags, please send ​an email to safe@fiu.edu or call 305-348-SAFE (7233)

The following rules are only intended to condense, highlight, and summarize the most commonly applicable safety aspects and do not supersede Florida International University's "Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety Manual".
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​Handling and Use:
  • Secure all cylinders by a chain, strap, or on a cart (regardless of tank size)​
  • ​Replace all cylinders in questionable condition
  • ​Label all cylinders with content and stage of use (e.g. "full", "in use", "empty")
  • ​Use gas cylinders in well ventilated areas only​. Do not strike or allow cylinders to strike against one another
  • Keep cylinders away from sparks, flames, or radiant heat
  • ​Place cap on cylinders that are not in use or when a regulator is not attached
  • A proper gas regulator is required during use; improvised adaptors are not allowed
  • Release pressure and close valve at the end of the day's use
  • Handle empty cylinders with the same care as full cylinders

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  • Move cylinders only on a hand truck or other cart designed for such purpose​
  • Do not handle more than once cylinder at a time unless a cart designed for such purpose is utilized

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  • Store in cool, well ventilated and protected area, away from emergency exits
  • Do not let the temperature of the cylinders exceed 38​°C (100°F)
  • Do not store corrosive gases for more than 6 months
  • Store cylinders by compatibility (e.g. flammables 20 feet away from oxidizers)



Page Updated: 8/24/2016