Cylinder Handling

General precautions

The following general precautions must be brought to the attention of all persons handling and using LPG in cylinders:

  • Always store and use the cylinder in the upright position (forklift truck cylinders are stored and used in the horizontal position).

  • Always ensure that the cylinder, valve threads and seating are kept free from dirt to enable gas-tight joints to be made.

  • Always treat cylinders and valves with care.

  • Before disconnecting a cylinder, always make sure that the cylinder valve is closed.

  • Always observe the manufacturer's recommended gas pressures and working instructions.

  • Never use a faulty cylinder.


The following fire prevention precautions must be brought to the attention of all persons handling and using LPG in cylinders:

LPG storage area should be clearly marked. Smoking must be prohibited and naked flames of any type must not be used in or adjacent to storage areas. Notices reading "NO SMOKING AND NO NAKED FLAMES" or pictograms as specified in relevant local standards must be displayed in prominent positions. A notice stating the action in the event of fire must be posted.

In view of the potential fire hazards associated with LP-Gas, containers should be stored in an area that is properly constructed, adequately controlled and well ventilated. This should be outdoors but, where this is not reasonably practicable, indoor storage may be used.

Any building used for storing cylinders should preferably of non-combustible or fire-resistant construction and well ventilated at floor level.

LPG cylinders may be stored with other flammable gas cylinders but must never be stored in close proximity to corrosive or oxidizing substances such as oxygen, or flammable substances such as paraffin, thinners, etc.

Adequate firefighting equipment, that is, at least one 9kg (20lb) fire extinguisher or one hose reel provided.

Never expose a cylinder to high temperature.

Never test for leakage with a flame. Use approved leak detection solution.

Cylinders may be protected from a heat source by a firewall.

Containers should not be changed near naked flames and on completion of work should be stored out of the reach of children.

Full and empty cylinders

A cylinder that has contained LPG, that is now nominally empty, will still contain LPG vapour. If the valve is left open, air will diffuse into the cylinder and may form a dangerous mixture. Consequently an LPG cylinder should always be considered full unless:

  • It is a new cylinder that has never been filled.

  • It has been inerted and suitably marked.

  • It is a dummy cylinder used only for display purposes

Handling guidelines

  • Cylinders must not be rolled on their sides but should be carried or churned (rolled) on their foot rings or carried by correctly designed handling equipment.

  • Cylinders must not be dropped but should be lowered gently, in the upright position, preferably on to a rubber mat.

  • Cylinders must never be left with their valves open even when empty.