Inspect all incoming cylinders before storing to ensure they are undamaged and properly labelled. Do not accept delivery of defective cylinders. Be sure they are not giving off odours, visible fumes or hissing sounds. Check that the cylinder was last tested within the required time (usually 5 or 10 years, but some containers may be as low as 3 years or as long as 12 years).
Also check that the cylinder labels are intact and that they match other identifying markings on the cylinder. Do not rely on cylinder colour to identify the gas. Different suppliers may use different colours for cylinders of the same gas. In addition, colours appear different under artificial lights and some people are colour blind. Gases that cannot be clearly identified should not be used.
Call compressed gases by the name on the supplier label. This reduces confusion, promotes recognition of the hazards involved and precautions to take, and can prevent accidental use of the wrong gas. If oxygen is called "air," someone who wants air to run a tool may use oxygen with possible serious results. Leave the valve cap securely in place until the cylinder is to be used. Inspect the cylinder valve by looking through the ports in the valve cap. Do not accept dirty, rusted or otherwise damaged valves and fixtures.