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1. Unsecured cylinders.

Cylinders should always be secured with a strap or chain; groups of cylinders can be secured with a
single chain or gate. If a cylinder is being moved, received, or shipped, it should not be left unattended
- not even briefly.

2. Cylinders stored without cylinder caps.

Obviously the case when full, but even when empty, a cylinder should be stored with the valve
CLOSED, and the cylinder cap ON.

3. Cylinders stored with hardware attached.

Clearly, if the cylinder should be stored with the cylinder cap ON, all hardware must be removed first.
But we often see cylinders stored with external valves, hose, tubing, or regulators still attached. Even
if storage is temporary, the hardware should be removed; the valve closed; and the cylinder cap

4. Cylinder valve left open when gas is not in use.

If a cylinder is at point of use but not in current service, the cylinder valve should be closed. Closing
the discharge valve at the regulator is not sufficient.

5. Non-compatible gases stored together.

For example, flammable gases should not be stored with oxidizers. Flammables should be separated
from oxidizers by at least 20 feet, or a 1 hour fire wall.

6. Fire extinguishers not available when using flammable gas.

Gases used for brazing, welding, or burning - or any gas that is flammable, regardless of application -
should always be used with fire control devices at hand.

7. Safety shower, eyewash not available when using corrosive gas.

This is an obvious precaution, but one that is sometimes mistakenly ignored when gas is used briefly
and intermittently. Another concern is the working order and accessibility of the safety equipment.

8. Gas mask, breathing apparatus not available when using toxic gas.
See comments for item 7. Toxic, corrosive, or flammable gases should be handled in a hood or
outdoors. Such precautions do NOT replace the need for access to masks or breathing apparatus.

9. Empty and full cylinders stored together.

A compressed gas safety adage tells us that we should "treat every cylinder as if it were full." A
prevailing exception is when the cylinder is in storage. Empties should not be commingled with full

10. Failure to use basic personal protection.

This is probably the most common safety violation of all - but easily remedied, and not at all
excusable. Eye protection (glasses, goggles, or mask) should always be worn when working with
compressed gas. If moving cylinders, gloves and safety shoes should also be worn.

11. The eleventh rule.

The eleventh rule is never to ignore the obvious. We hope these ten points are helpful reminders for
the safe use of compressed gas.

Users of compressed gas should always familiarize themselves with the information
contained in the MSDS for the material being handled. MSDS should be kept on-site
and conveniently accessible. A link to online MSDS is provided at the top of this