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FAASTeam Notice
Type: Airworthiness
Notice Date: Monday, July 11, 2011
Notice Number: NOTC3079
Maintenance Safety Tip
This notice expired on
Thursday, August 11, 2011

FAASTeam Maintenance Safety Tip
July 2011

Handling and Use of Compressed Gas Cylinders

There have been numerous gas cylinder safety incidents over the last five years. In one organization, there were two instances of breached cylinders that were propelled into the air, and in another incident, a pressure gauge blew off. There were seven cases where cylinders were dropped, toppled over, or unsecured. Twelve more occurrences involved leaks and release of gas.
Compressed gases can be toxic, flammable, oxidizing, corrosive, or inert. In the event of a leak, inert gases can quickly displace air in a large area creating an oxygen-deficient atmosphere, toxic gases can create a poisoned atmosphere, and flammable or reactive gases can result in fire and exploding cylinders. In addition, there are hazards from the pressure of the gas and the physical weight of the cylinder. A gas cylinder falling over can break containers and crush feet. The cylinder can itself become a missile if the cylinder valve is broken off.

  • Accept only properly identified cylinders and do not rely on color codes.
  • Wear safety equipment appropriate for the hazard potential of the gas before beginning work.
  • If a cylinder or valve is noticeably corroded, the vendor should be contacted for instructions.
  • A leaking cylinder should be removed and isolated in a well ventilated safe area. It may be necessary to call in trained emergency response personnel.
  • If the leak is at the junction of the cylinder valve and cylinder, DO NOT try to repair! Instead, contact the supplier.
  • Leave cap on and valve closed when cylinder is not in use.
  • Pressure regulators should only be used for the gas for which they were designed and should not be interchanged. Do not force regulator connection fittings.
  • Never drag, slide, or roll the cylinder; never transport with the regulator in place; and secure the cylinder to a suitable hand truck or cart during transport.
  • Properly secure cylinders in a well ventilated and protected area away from heat, flames, and the sun.
  • Segregate cylinders by hazard classes while in storage.

Discontinue use of the cylinder when it has at least 25 psi remaining; close valve to prevent air and moisture from entering. Return unused and empty cylinders to the vendor for reuse or refill.
Mark or tag empty cylinders "EMPTY" or "MT." Separate empty and full cylinders during storage.
  • Purchase more or larger cylinders than necessary;
  • Store flammable gases next to an exit or near oxygen cylinders;
  • Use copper fittings or tubing on acetylene tanks;
  • Use Teflon® tape on cylinder or tube fitting connections, which have metal-to-metal face seals or gasket seals;
  • Permit oil or grease to contact cylinders or their valves, especially cylinders containing oxidizing gases.

Gas cylinder incidents can lead to serious consequences, but they can be avoided. Stay in the know!
Source Material from the DOE Safety Bulletin at