Many people across a wide range of industries, including maintenance and manufacturing, use gases from compressed gas cylinders. High-pressure gas cylinders are also known as gas bottles. They are a convenient way to transport and store gases under pressure. These gases can be used for many different purposes, such as welding, soldering and flame cutting, chemical processes, medical and laboratory uses, breathing (for diving or emergency rescue purposes), water treatment, heating and cooking, dispensing beverages, fuel for vehicles, extinguishing fires or else.
Every gas cylinder must be designed and manufactured to an approved standard, so it can withstand everyday use, but also to prevent any potential hazards. Furthermore, every gas cylinder must be initially inspected before it’s put into service to ensure they meet the approved standard and then be periodically examined regularly to make sure they are safe while in service.
To reduce the risks of failure anyone who examines, fills, refurbishes, or uses a gas cylinder should be properly trained and have all the necessary skills to carry out their job safely. For proper handling and use, there are a few rules that must be followed. However, one of the most frequently asked questions is if cylinders need to be restrained and here is what you need to know about using gas bottle holder restraints.
Do Gas Bottles Need to Be Chained?
To begin with, use gas bottles in a vertical position unless specifically designed to be used otherwise. You can find gas bottle holder restraints for the cylinders you’re using, and prevent them from falling or being knocked over. Before making a purchase, make sure to double-check if the ones you’ve selected are the right ones for your gas bottles.
Gas bottle restraints and brackets are extremely durable, versatile and adjustable. Make sure to choose restraints that conform to all relevant Australian standards and keep in mind that the brackets are not meant to be used as a weight-bearing device, but on the ground or truck body, not hung up away from the ground. They provide a simple, yet effective method of securing gas bottles to walls and within laboratories or calibration facilities.
For non-refillable cylinders, the restraints are bolted to the wall to provide a secure position and are very useful for placing the cylinders near a technician’s workbench or a docking station. For gas bottles, restraints are available in single, two- and three-cylinder versions, and each restraint is bolted to the wall to secure it in place. Belt straps offer an easier and more efficient method over chains for securing the cylinders in place.
Gas Cylinders in Seismically Active Areas
Gas bottle holders are sufficient at preventing your cylinders from tipping over. In seismically active areas, more than one strap should be used to keep each cylinder in place. Gas cylinder securing systems should be anchored to a permanent building member or fixture. This is necessary for preventing movement during a seismic event.
Transportation of Gas Cylinders
Also, gas bottle holders are used for restraining gas cylinders in transport in passenger or commercial vehicles. It’s important to follow safety instructions for the transportation of both full and empty cylinders. Gas bottle restraints can help you secure all cylinders from moving during transport, considering the forces generated in a traffic accident as well.
Restrain cylinders by lashing them to the vehicle body using straps, or containing them in a purpose-built frame if transporting them upright against a headboard. LPG gas safety requires outdoor storage in a well-ventilated area, valves firmly closed and LPG gas cylinders to be always transported and stored upright. LPG may be non-toxic, but it’s flammable and potentially explosive.
Never use elastic straps, rope or duct tape for restraining cylinders. If transporting cylinders lying down, make sure to place them lengthwise on the deck. Position the valve facing rearwards, so the base is blocked against the headboard or another strong part.
Make sure to know your gases, and if a gas leak occurs during the transportation, stop and park your vehicle as far away as possible from people and other vehicles, leave it and report the issue. In case of fire or a road accident, do the same and make sure to always advise them of the details of your load, and your location.
Storing Your Gas Cylinders
For proper storage of your gas cylinders, you need to make sure they are outside the building, nominally at ground level and never under a building or stairway. They need to be on a firm, level and non-combustible base and secured to a solid structure. Your gas bottles must be clear of combustible materials and positioned in a way that the safety valves point away from adjacent structures and cylinders.
Lastly, gas cylinders are not dangerous if handled, used and stored properly for gas cylinder safety. They can be dangerous if mishandled, stored improperly or used incorrectly. Storing them indoors, not performing leak testing, not keeping them upright, storing near ignition sources and heating or transporting them incorrectly can lead to hazards, so it’s important to follow every step of the safety instructions, from proper training to regular checking and handling them with utmost care and precaution.