Ask an Expert
Discuss My Needs
Menu
Discuss My Needs
Ask an Expert
Keyes Life Safety

Our Life Safety educational resource hub is full of healthcare knowledge to help you be better informed of the changing world around you. 

Rather than sit back and act on decisions made by others, we are leading the charge as it relates to identifying best practices for Life Safety Code® and compliance. We have real people that give our clients real information that can be put into practice.

Interested in reading our experts' take on Life Safety? Then subscribe to our free blog below! We discuss readers' questions, share interesting observations from the field, and more.

Partial O2 Cylinders

by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Nov 4, 2020 12:00:16 AM

Q: Presently there is an interpretation at our facilities that "E" cylinders of oxygen that are "In Use" or "Not Empty" is an allowable title for storing oxygen tanks versus Empty and Full. Can you comment on this?

A: Where possible, I prefer to go by NFPA terminology, as does CMS. The Accreditation Organizations (AOs) typically do go by NFPA terminology, but sometimes they have their own unique terms for things that may depart from NFPA. In this situation, NFPA only uses the terms “Full” and “Empty” when referring to oxygen cylinders. NFPA 99-2012, section 11.6.5.2 says if empty and full cylinders are stored in the same enclosure, empty cylinders must be segregated from full cylinders. Section 11.6.5.3 continues by saying empty cylinders shall be marked to avoid confusion and delay if a full cylinder is needed in a rapid manner.

No-where in those sections does it address the cylinders that are neither full, nor empty (i.e. partials). So, when the codes and standards are silent on a subject, it is up to the authority having jurisdiction to decide what’s what. Some AOs are progressive on this and say partial cylinders should be stored separately, although they make it clear it is not mandatory. I like that idea of storing partial cylinders separately. I also like that term “partials” to describe them. The terms ‘In Use’ and ‘Not Empty’ don’t really say that these cylinders are partially full, but you may use whatever term you wish, but ‘partial’ seems to fit well. Make sure you comply with your accreditation organization’s standards (or recommendations) on compressed medical gas cylinder storage.

Topics:Medical GasStorage (Medical Gas)Gas Cylinders

Real people. Real solutions.

We help you be better informed of the changing world around you.  Our life safety blog answers your real world questions! 

More...

More...

Subscribe to Updates

We care and want to help.

We want to help coach, guide, and navigate you through all things Life Safety.
DISCUSS MY NEEDS