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Cylinder FAQs

How should I store my cylinders? plus minus

Cylinders can be many different shapes and sizes and all cylinders have the potential to cause injury and damage if stored incorrectly. In addition, certain products (in particular oxygen and acetylene) should not be stored next to each other for safety reasons.

Please read guidelines for storing cylinders safely. For further advice and information, contact Air Products.

Whenever you are carrying cylinders, please follow these simple but important guidelines:

  • Ensure the valve is closed
  • Disconnect any regulators and re-check the valve is closed
  • Always take care when lifting – cylinders are heavy

Please read our safety datasheet 'General Cylinder Handling'.

How do I transport cylinders safely? plus minus

Cylinders are very heavy and travel at the same speed as your vehicle. However, unlike your vehicle, they are not fitted with any brakes and unless they are adequately secured they can move forward under braking and cause severe damage.

There are some basic safety rules to follow:

  • No smoking
  • Check that cylinder valves are properly closed
  • If the cylinder is designed to have a cylinder valve cap, then one should be fitted
  • Ventilate your vehicle and keep windows open. Do not transport a cylinder in the car boot
  • Dismantle equipment such as regulators and hoses and torches
  • Ensure all cylinders are properly secured and prevented from moving during your journey
  • Go directly to your destination
  • Immediately unload when arriving at destination or if stopping for a longer time and store cylinders in a ventilated place

To get further information about the loading, unloading, collecting and transportation of gas cylinders, please take a look at the guide 'Safe Transport of Gas' guide provided by European Industrial Gas Association (EIGA).

Since January 1, 2007, there is a requirement for the driver of any type of vehicle, not only for those above 3.5 tonnes, carrying dangerous goods in excess of the threshold limits to be in possession of a vocational training certificate, or ADR Licence as it is better known.

If you wish to benefit from the exemption of some of the requirements of the ADR regulations (such as the obligation to have orange plates, high visibility vests and wheel chocks), you need to understand the 1000 points rule and the limited quantity thresholds. The full ADR regulations only apply if your cylinder load exceeds this quantity threshold.

Please download our guide on ADR and the 1000 point rule.

What equipment should I wear when handling cylinders? plus minus

When you handle cylinders we strongly recommend that you wear

  • safety glasses
  • safety shoes
  • ordinary work gloves

For cutting and welding operations you should use

  • welder’s gloves
  • welder’s helmet and goggles
  • leather sleeves
  • leather apron
  • and other standard protective equipment in accordance with the appropriate task risk assessment

Safety Boot

Why should I avoid putting grease or oil on my cylinder? plus minus

Oil and grease are substances that are strictly forbidden in the gas industry as they may react when in contact with some gases like oxygen. Oxygen and other oxidant gases can react violently and produce a fire or an explosion when in contact with oils or grease. So lubrication of cylinders/packs is not allowed, in order to prevent highly risk potential accidents.

Air Products employees are trained on the incompatibility of oil or grease and other substances with the gases we produce.

  • Close the cylinder valve
  • If the leak has stopped
    • Take cylinder out of service and clearly identify it
    • Contact us to arrange for the cylinder to be collected
  • If the cylinder is still leaking
    • Ventilate the room by opening doors and windows
    • Avoid ignition sources such as non-EX electrically operated fans
    • Evacuate the area within the vicinity of the cylinder
    • Contact the fire services and contact us

When dealing with cylinders in fires you should in all cases:

  • Raise the alarm and evacuate the area.
  • Contact the emergency services
  • Inform them of the number, type and location of the cylinders where possible.
  • If possible, cool the cylinders from a safe distance.
  • Advise Air Products on 08085 02 02 02

Do not approach cylinders that are involved in the fire until you have been advised by the emergency services that it is safe to do so.

Total Safety – Cylinders in Fires brochure

Cylinders in Fires BCGA Safety Leaflet

How do I know which is the best welding gas for my needs? plus minus

To find the optimum gas mixture for your welding process use our Gas Selector tool on the Welding and Cutting page.

Use our Freshline® MAP Gas Selector on the MAP page to identify the ideal gas mixture for your food product.

Use our Balloonium® calculator on the Parties or Events page to identify the right cylinder for your needs.