Oxygen Cylinder Storage
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jun 7, 2021 1:00:00 AM
Q: I need information regarding regulations for storing empty or full O2 tanks in a closet that has a blanket warmer. We are located in Texas. I believe I only need to verify that I just need to make sure either sprinklers were in the closet or the walls were 1-hour fire rated. Any information would be much appreciated.
A: The requirement for the room that stores compressed medical gas cylinders comes from NFPA 99-2012, section 11.3.2 for quantities between 300 and 3,000 cubic feet of gas, and section 11.3.1 for quantities over 3,000 cubic feet of gas.
For rooms that store more than 300 cubic feet but less than 3,000 cubic feet of compressed medical gas:
- The room must be constructed with non-combustible or limited combustible materials
- The room must be equipped with a door that is capable of being locked
- Oxidizing gases cannot be stored with flammable gases or liquids
- Oxidizing gases must be separated from combustibles by 20 feet, or 5 feet if the room is protected with sprinklers, or in a fire-rated cabinet
Section 22.214.171.124.1.7 does say cylinders must not be stored in rooms exceeding 130°F, so you need to see if the blanket warmer adds to the temperature of the room and comes close to 130°F (probably does not).
For quantities over 3,000 cubic feet, you would comply with sections 126.96.36.199.2 and 188.8.131.52.3 that does require 1-hour fire-rated construction and nothing else (such as the blanket warmer) is permitted to be stored in the room. For quantities less than 300 cubic feet, there are no regulations on the room storing cylinders.