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Considerations for Medical Gas Storage

By Shelley Swearingen — March 27, 2020

The most commonly handled hazardous gases in health care facilities are oxygen and nitrous oxide (frequently used as an anesthetic). These gases are oxidizers and when presented with heat and fuel can become very dangerous. Fire and explosion can occur quite easily if not handled or stored properly.

There are multiple facets to consider when evaluating storage needs:

  • Where will these items be stored?
    • Have you reviewed the requirements for signage?
    • Does the location have proper ventilation?
  • How many cylinders need to be stored?
    • What is the maximum capacity the facility would need to stock at any one time?
      • This should consider worst-case scenarios. Many healthcare facilities are experiencing this with the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
  • What is the size of the storage cylinders?
  • Is there a plan for where to store the empty cylinders?
  • Does your facility have a threshold for when to consider these cylinders ‘empty’?
    • If not, this needs to be established and enforced immediately.
    • Standard operating procedures should outline the proper order of labeling and storage for cylinders (full, in-use, or empty).

The National Fire Protection Association creates guidelines used to craft federal regulations for the storage of hazardous materials. You can find an overview of guidelines here:

KL Security experts are educated and experienced in assisting medical facilities, hospitals, and assisted living homes to fulfill compliance mandates for medical gas storage. We are ready to answer any questions and assist your facility in the proper storage of hazardous materials & medical gas. Email us at or call 1-866-867-0306 to discuss the needs of your facility.

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.