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June 24, 2022

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Gas safety

BCGA issues revision for Code of Practice surrounding safe storage of gas cylinders

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has published a revised Code of Practice which defines the principles of safe practice for the storage of gas cylinders and bundles.

The revised Code of Practice promotes the use of an outdoor store, with good natural ventilation, in a secure location, which meets the required separation distances. It has been revised.

This document provides advice and guidance for the safe storage of gas cylinders. It gives guidance on the construction and management of gas cylinder stores and provides information on the hazards likely to be encountered.

It should be used when siting and constructing storage facilities or when reviewing the safety and suitability of existing storage facilities. It does not preclude the use of alternative designs, materials and methods, when they provide equivalent standards of safety. Where gas cylinders are stored in conjunction with other packaged dangerous substances additional guidance should be sought, for example, in HSE’s HSG 71, Chemical warehousing. The storage of packaged dangerous substances.

Cylinders containing gases are classed as hazardous substances and consequently gas cylinder stores will require relevant land use permission and may require planning permission and other consents from local authorities.

All parties should ensure they have adequate insurance to cover their activities. All parties shall ensure that they use their gases and look after their gas cylinders and associated equipment in a safe and responsible way.

This Code of Practice is intended for use in conjunction with current guidance and information produced by the HSE and other related bodies and trade associations.

The document defines the principles of safe practice for the storage of gas cylinders and gas cylinder bundles and outlines the relevant legal requirements in the UK.

Throughout this document any reference to a cylinder applies equally to the storage of bundles (of cylinders).

Gas cylinders should be stored, used and handled as if they are full of gas, says the document.

This Code of Practice is applicable to:

  • The storage of cylinders whilst not in use
  • Cylinders connected (through the supply pipework) and in use as the gas source for a gas supply and distribution system. For example, refer to BCGA Code of Practice (CP) 4, Gas supply and distribution systems (excluding acetylene)
  • The storage of a mobile gas supply system, for example, an oxy-fuel gas welding set mounted on a trolley, whilst not in use. Each mobile gas supply system shall be stored in a dedicated space, ensuring each gas cylinder has the valve in the closed position.

The Code should be followed when storing gas cylinders and their associated gases regardless of their hazard categories which are located within a common store(s).

Click here to download the CP44 The storage of gas cylinders. Revision 1: 2022.

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