One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a Gas Cylinder Store or Gas Cylinder Cage is ventilation. Appropriate ventilation is essential to ensure the safe dispersal of gases, chemical mists, fumes and vapours.
Where gases from storage cylinders leak into the surrounding environment, it can present a serious health hazard and a significant safety concern for your employees and the local community (if cylinders are stored externally). Therefore your gas cylinder storage units needs to be be designed to prevent the accumulation of any leaked gases.
When it comes to storing medical cylinders or cylinders, there are a number of recommended ventilation guidelines that you should adhere to.
Medical & Gas Cylinder Storage Ventilation Guidelines
• The ideal external gas cylinder storage structure should be well ventilated, with no roof and up to two solid walls. Ideally the walls, and where possible, even the doors should be manufactured from steel wire mesh to facilitate optimum ventilation.
• For external gas cylinder cages, if weather protection is required, the roofing should be designed not just to protect from the elements but also to ensure adequate ventilation. The gas cylinder storage unit should be designed with gaps between the wall and sloping roof or ventilation outlets in the roof apex to prevent gas pockets from building up.
• For internal gas cylinder storage, cabinets should feature ventilation ports to ensure adequate dispersal of any gases or vapours.
• A typical gas cylinder store structure for non-flammable cylinders or small quantities of flammable cylinders may consist of three adjacent walls. This is provided that at least 25% of the surround is constructed to ensure appropriate ventilation e.g. with meshed fencing.
• High walls (greater than 2 metres in height) or thin corridors do not facilitate adequate ventilation. As a rule, no more than 50% of the perimeter wall should be obstructed.
• Some gases are heavier than air. Therefore ventilation louvre panels should be positioned at both high and low levels to prevent accumulation of gases at floor level. Your Gas Cylinder Storage solution should not be positioned near drains or culverts as any dispersed chemical gases which are heavier than air could accumulate in the drains.
For your reference, the BCGA (British Compressed Gases Association) produce a guidance booklet with detailed advice on storage of compressed gases in cylinders. For further information of ensuring safe gas cylinder storage, read our blog post “5 Ways to Ensure Safe Gas cylinder Storage” or contact our expert team.