General Information & Safety Tips

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

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

Handling & 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"). To request gas cylinder tags, send an email to
  • 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


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


  • 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)