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Mitigating the Hazards: 7 Things to Keep in Mind About Medical Gas Cylinder Storage

    Medical facilities require medical gas cylinders to provide adequate oxygen to patients. When assessing how to store the medical gas cylinders, the hospital administrators must follow all federal standards or face non-compliance penalties. Reviewing seven things to keep in mind about medical gas cylinder storage helps hospital administrators mitigate hazards and lower the risk of a fire or explosion in the hospital.

    1. Cylinders Containing Less than 300 Cubic Feet of Gas

    Cylinders that contain less than 300 cubic feet of gas are situated within hallways and aren’t located in any room. When installed, the cylinders must be secured to prevent them from falling over. The hospital must install these cylinders’ inpatient care sections of the medical facility. The products can be used for patients who are on stretchers or moved via wheelchairs. The requirements for these cylinders are more stringent than any other cylinders since the products are moved frequently throughout the patient care area. Hospitals can use these cylinders for crash cart designs to provide emergency oxygen to patients. Hospital administrators who have questions about these smaller cylinders can find answers by visiting right now.

    1. Cylinders With No More Than 3,000 Cubic Feet of Gas In Each Location

    Cylinders with more than 300 cubic feet of gas but do not exceed 3,000 cubic feet must follow the non-combustible construction guidelines, but the cylinders cannot be placed in a section of the hospital that is considered hazardous. The doors where the cylinders are stored don’t have to feature a self-closing mechanism to protect them. The temperature in the room must stay below 130 F. The hospital cannot store any flammable products within five feet of these cylinders. Some hospitals position the cylinders in metal storage units that offer at least fire-resistance ratings of 30 minutes to give medical professionals a chance to escape the area if a fire happens.

    The cylinders also require valve protection caps to prevent a leak, and the caps must be secured and tested. Since the cylinders are considered heavier than other products, it is necessary for the cylinders to be secured by chains to keep them in place. Some hospitals may use racks to secure the cylinders, and the construction should involve strong wood. If the cylinders are enclosed, there must be a proper locking mechanism in place to secure the cylinders at all times. It isn’t necessary for the enclosure to be locked, but it is important to ensure that the cylinder will remain in place.

    1. Cylinders Containing More Than 3,000 Cubic Feet of Gas

    Cylinders containing more than 3,000 cubic feet of gas require a one-hour fire resistance enclosure. The storage units must provide adequate time for all occupants to escape from the area. The cylinders are secured properly with an enclosure or with proper chains. Stands are also a great option for keeping the cylinders in place. Since these cylinders are larger than other products, the hospital must use proper signs for the gas cylinders and must warn medical staff about the presence of the cylinders.

    1. Transfilling Liquidified Oxygen

    Transfilling liquified oxygen is performed in non-patient areas where there isn’t any risk to the patients. The facility where it takes place must have an active fire barrier that prevents a fire from spreading to other areas of the hospital. The one-hour resistance rating is needed for the storage unit. The area in which the process is completed must have fire-resistant flooring such as ceramic or concrete. All areas where the oxygen is transfilled and stored must have automatic sprinklers to extinguish a fire. The facility must offer mechanical ventilation. However, if the transfilling pressure remains lower than 50 psi, the hospital will not need mechanical ventilation.

    1. The Two Most Common Hazards

    Fires and explosions are the two most common hazards related to storing medical gas cylinders. If the cylinders aren’t secured and placed in an area where there are fire-resistant barriers, the cylinders could become damaged or leak the gas into the air. When these circumstances occur, the hospital, the patients, and the medical staff are at risk of injuries or fatalities. For this reason, the hospital must follow careful protocols to secure the cylinders and take proper precautions to prevent fires and explosions. Additional steps must be taken to secure the hospital and lower the risk of a fire inside the hospital and keep patients safer.

    1. Safety Sign Requirements

    Safety sign requirements indicate where the medical gas cylinders are stored and provide adequate warning for the medical staff. These signs must be large enough that the staff can see the signs from a safe distance away and indicate what type of gas is inside the cylinders stored in the hospital. Details appear on the signs and explain any risks to patients or medical staff. Reviewing the requirements for the signs helps the hospital administrator remain compliant with federal standards.

    1. Requirements for Mechanical Ventilation

    Requirements for mechanical ventilation start with continuous ventilation that ensures negative pressure in the storage area. Space must be more than 500 cfm and no less than 50 cfm. The administrator must ensure that the inlets are not obstructed within one foot of the floor where the cylinders are stored. Exhaust fans must be installed in the storage area and prevent overheating of electrical systems in the room. The room design must include noncombustible construction and fire resistance to lower the chances of fires and explosions. Combustible vapors cannot enter the space where the cylinders are stored.

    Medical facilities must follow federal regulations for storing medical gas cylinders. The areas in which the cylinders are stored must be fire-resistant and provide adequate protection for the medical staff and patients. The medical administrators must store the gas cylinders according to the amount of gas inside the cylinder. The cylinders must be secured according to their weight and gas mass. The hospital must secure the cylinders with chains or enclose them into metal cabinets that prevent the cylinders from shifting or moving. Reviewing the standards for medical gas cylinders helps the medical administrators avoid hefty penalties and serious risks to their staff and patients.