Gas cylinders require special care. The acetylene cylinder is hollow and contains a porous material saturated with liquid acetone, which keeps the gases stable under pressure. Always store the cylinder in the vertical upright position and secure it. If the cylinder is tipped, acetone may leak into the valve area and could release acetone into the system. If an acetylene cylinder is tipped, place it upright for twice as long as it had been lying down before using it. Also, be certain a cap covers the valve when the cylinders are not secured. If the cap is not present and the cylinder falls, the valve could break and propel the cylinder like a torpedo.
To ensure you are using the correct gas, always check the label and testing date prior to using any cylinder.
To move cylinders, use a cradle or lifting device. Do not lift by the valve. Do not drag, slide or drop cylinders. For short distances, they can be rolled upright on their base.
Remember to take precautions when storing fuel and oxygen cylinders that are not in a special truck to protect them. Store oxygen tanks at least 20 feet away from fuel cylinders or behind a properly designed firewall to minimize the risk of an explosion or fire. This firewall needs to be fire rated for 30 minutes and be at least 5 feet high. Secure cylinders upright using chain, rope, wire or special brackets. Secure along the top third of the cylinder, but not by the valve.
Inspect the cylinder valve and other components for damage and/or the presence of contaminants such as oil, grease or dust before using. Visually inspect all hoses, O-rings (for nicks), safety devices, flashback arrestors, and torch and regulator connections for signs of damage or excessive wear. If damaged or contaminated, do not use the equipment. Call the supplier immediately if cylinder is leaking.
Use a friction style striker to ignite the torch. Never use matches, a cigarette lighter or the hot work itself as the intense heat from the torch can quickly ignite the lighter and cause severe injury.
If you see this equipment being used or stored unsafely, please report it to your supervisor.