Medical Gas Storage

Jul 1, 2021

Medical gases are known for saving lives. However, improper or negligent gas storage at home can be a cause for concern – even danger. While most gases aren’t harmful or flammable, the risk lies within the extreme pressure inside the gas bottle or oxygen cylinder. If the container is tipped over and the valve is blocked or sheared off, the container could explode or become a projectile, causing injuries or even death.

How should someone safely store medical gases?

Medical gases are used by healthcare professionals for their medical uses and applications. Some of these medical gases, such as Medical Nitrous Oxide are highly restricted and regulated. So, not only due diligence must be put in place to make sure no misuse or abuse takes place, but also safekeeping of these medical gas cylinders is essential.
There are serious risks when it comes to improper gas storage. In order to be compliant with Australian Standards, healthcare officials must store medical gas in the ways according to each state or territory guidelines. These guidelines are designed to reduce the risk of any harm to zero.

What are the guidelines and standards for the safekeeping of medical gases?

Over the last 20 years < mega Medical has been the leading supplier of medical gases and equipment and we feel it is our part also to teach you the latest and most advanced guidelines and aspects of storing your medical gases safely.

Below is a table for the latest standards and guidelines.

Gas & oxygen cylinder storage regulations

AS4332-2004Gas cylinders must be constructed from non-combustible materials
AS4332-2004Gas cylinders must be level so they do not fall over

If drainage must be completed, ensure the gas bottle is not on a slope so stability is not compromised

AS4332-2004Space between the base of the gas cylinder store and the ground must be filled with a solid, non-combustible material
AS4332-2004Gas cylinders stored inside a building must be separated from other rooms by at least one wall
AS4332-2004If the gas cylinders are kept in a multi-story building, the ceiling must be non-flammable to avoid catastrophic fires (resistance level 180/180/180)
AS4332-2004Floors, walls and ceilings of the storage area must be non-flammable
AS4332-2004Sources of ignition must be removed from storage areas containing flammable gases
AS4332-2004Crash barriers must be set up in areas where gas cylinders are exposed to vehicles
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder storage room doors must open outwards so the room can be opened from the inside
AS4332-2004Electrical equipment inside the storage room must comply with AS/NZS 3000
AS4332-2004Electrical power points and sources must be reinforced to withstand impact from projectile cylinders
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder stores must be chained or barred to avoid getting knocked over
AS4332-2004Indoor storage of compressed gases must be avoided at all costs
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder storage rooms must have the correct dangerous goods signage
AS4332-2004All internal roads and hallways must be well illuminated in need of escape or evacuation
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder storage rooms must have sufficient ventilation
AS4332-2004Full and empty gas cylinders must be clearly separated
AS4332-2004Smoking should not be permitted near or around gas cylinders or gas storage areas
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder stores should be designed to prevent unauthorised entry
AS4332-2004Cylinders containing nitrous oxide should be stored securely as these cylinders are prone to theft
AS4332-2004If possible, store gas cylinders close to an emergency exit so they can be removed quickly and efficiently if need be
AS4332-2004Gas cylinder stores should have working smoke detectors
AS4332-2004Ensure the service number or supplier number is kept in the cylinder store in case one of the cylinders is broken
AS4332-2004Notify your local fire department and utility providers that you are using oxygen or other medical gases in your home

Is there a checklist to follow for storing medical gases safely?

Here at Mega Medical, we have created using the AS4332-2004 Australia standards.

Please view and download the list and keep it at your practice. Storing medical gases safely at any practice is a must and must be followed according to the latest standards and guidelines.

Who can I contact to get information regarding storing medical gases?

For more information about safe and efficient medical gas storage, please contact Mega Medical on 1300881824.

Our experienced and expert team would be able to always give you advice about how to reduce medical gas-related health risks and make sure you always maintain high standards of your healthcare practice and your patient safety and comfort.