Q: If there are oxygen tanks stored on a unit that does not exceed the 12 tank threshold, does the door to the storage area where the tanks are stored need to have a sign indicating that tanks are stored within?
A: Yes… the door to a storage room containing oxidizing gases regardless of the quantity of gas stored (i.e. less than 300 cubic feet, or 12 E cylinders of oxygen) must have a precautionary sign, readable from a distance of 5 feet, and must be displayed on each door or gate of the storage room or enclosure. The sign must include the following wording as a minimum:
• OXIDIZING GAS(ES) STORED WITHIN
• NO SMOKING
This requirement is found in NFPA 99-2012, sections 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52, and applies to all healthcare organizations, new and existing. On this particular section of NFPA 99, there is no exception in having this sign if the facility is posted as being a NO SMOKING facility. That applies to other sign requirements where oxygen therapy is in use on a patient, but that exception does not apply to a storage room containing oxidizing gases.
So, as you are conducting your routine building tour, please keep an eye out for the required signs on any door where oxidizing gases are stored.
Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.
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