Heat-affected gas cylinders.
As gas cylinders heat up in a fire, pressure increases inside. Direct flame contact or excessive heat can also reduce the strength of a cylinder, resulting in localised weakening. In extreme cases, the cylinder may fail in violent manner resulting in the release of considerable amount of energy - that is, the cylinder may rupture.
Cylinders containing oxidants, toxic or flammable gases may also produce additional hazards due to the nature of their contents.
The plastic Test Date Tags (TDTs) fitted by BOC on the cylinder valve inlet connection will distort or melt at a pre-determined temperature when heat-affected. This is to alert BOC (and fire crews, customers) of any heat damage to the cylinder. Some heat tags may be presented in a form of barcode tags or rings. Other heat indications on cylinders include burnt or blistered paintwork. Any heat-affected BOC owned cylinders are sent to a BOC test shop to determine if they are safe to be returned back into gas service or if they are to be scrapped.
Gas cylinders involved in a fire may explode.
If cylinders are in a fire the key actions to be taken are:
- Evacuate the area (minimum 100 metre radius).
- Call the fire brigade on 000.
- Advise persons between 100 metres – 300 metres from the cylinder to take cover.
- When the fire brigade arrives inform them of the location and number of gas cylinders directly involved in the fire, and the names of the gases they contain. Where possible, indicate to the fire brigade any immediate danger signs, such as cylinders leaking, venting, bulging or steaming.
- As soon as possible, inform BOC on the Emergency Response Line 1800 653 572.
- DO NOT use cylinders that have been exposed to a fire until BOC has examined them.
Do not approach a heat affected cylinder until it has been deemed safe by the fire brigade or BOC.
For more information, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 131 262.
Heat indicator test date tags (view from tag underside – without markings)