What should I know about the compressed gas storage area?
Store compressed gas tanks separately, away from processing and handling areas, and from incompatible materials. Separate storage can minimize personal injury and damage in case of fires, spills or leaks. Many compressed gases can undergo dangerous reactions if they come in contact with incompatible materials (gases, liquids or solids), so store them apart from each other. For example, store oxidizing gases at least 6 metres (20 feet) away from fuel gases or other combustible materials, or separate them with an approved fire wall. Check the reactivity information and storage requirements sections of the MSDS for details about which materials are incompatible with a particular compressed gas. The National Fire Code addresses requirements for segregation of different gases in storage.
If compressed gas tanks are stored outside, use a well-drained, securely fenced area. Keep them on a raised concrete pad or non-combustible rack. Protect tanks from the weather and do not allow them to stand directly on wet soil as this can cause corrosion.
Indoor storage areas must have walls, floors and fittings made of suitable materials. For example, use non-combustible building materials in storage areas for oxidizing gas and corrosion-resistant materials in storage areas for corrosive gas. Make sure floors are level and protect tanks from dampness. Avoid overcrowding in storage areas or storing cylinders in out-of-the-way locations.
Always chain or securely restrain tanks in an upright position to a wall, rack or other solid structure wherever they are stored, handled or used. Securing each tank individually is best. Stacking of groups of tanks together offers some protection, but if this is done improperly, the entire group or individual tanks could fall.
Store compressed gas tanks in areas which are:
Well-ventilated and dry.
Fire-resistant and supplied with suitable firefighting equipment including sprinklers, where appropriate.
Away from electrical circuits and ignition sources such as sparks, flames or hot surfaces.
Accessible at all times, but away from elevators, staircases or main traffic routes where cylinders may be dangerous obstacles.
Labelled with suitable warning signs.
Always store full tanks separately from empty tanks.