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Safe Storage of LPG Cylinders

Extract Taken From The Fork Lift Truck Association Fact Sheet 13

LPG (propane or butane) is a colourless liquid which readily evaporates into a gas. It has no natural smell, although it will normally have an odour added to help detect leaks. When mixed with air, the gas can burn or explode when it meets a source of ignition. Safe storage is essential.

As a general rule the following guidance should be followed.

• Keep all cylinders in a safe, well-ventilated place, preferably in the open air, and away from occupied buildings, boundaries and any sources of ignition or heat.
• Make sure that cylinders are properly secured and are kept upright.
• Keep the area clean and tidy and free of rubbish. Keep weeds and grass in the vicinity cut down. (Do not use a chlorate-based weed killer as it can be a fire hazard.)
• Display “NO SMOKING” signs and enforce the policy.

Further guidance is available in the HSE information sheet described below. Detailed guidance is given in the LP Gas Association document also listed below. This is the information recommended by HSE to enforcing authorities. In addition your LPG supplier should be able to provide specific guidance where needed and may be able to provide safety material and posters etc. on request.

The UK's Independent Authority on Fork Lift Trucks 

HSE Information Sheet LP Gas Association Code of Practice
Chemical Sheet No 5 COP7 – Storage of Full and Empty LPG Cylinders
Small-scale use of LPG in cylinders and Cartridges 2004.
FREE download £46.00 Available from: LP Gas Association

The information in this Fact Sheet has been assembled and interpreted to give truck owners and users basic guidance on frequently asked questions. Further important information will be given in the quoted reference documents. Responsibility for meeting the safety obligations discussed rests with the employer, Ability Handling Ltd and the FLTA will not accept liability for any problem arising as a result of the content of this document. Technical Bulletins, containing more detailed information and updated as appropriate, are made available free to members of the FLTA SAFE USER GROUP.