CO2 Gas Manifold

Q: We have a situation in our Lab where they would like to purchase another incubator that requires additional CO2 gas.  The problem is that we do not have a designated space for storing more than 1 H size cylinder.  We have a space that is used to store flammable agents and is a two hour fire rated room with a fire suppression system, exhaust and the doors are equip with door closures.  Very little amounts of flammable agents are stored in this room anymore. Could we use this room as our gas manifold room for the CO2 gas?

A: NFPA 99 (1999 edition), section 4- is the code reference where oxidizing gases used in a manifold system are not allowed to be stored with anything else. Though, in your example you want to create a manifold system for CO2, which of course is not an oxidizing gas. I do not see anything in NFPA 99 that would prevent you from using this room for the CO2 compressed gas manifold system. However, it would be best to have the flammable agents stored inside a fire-rated metal storage cabinet.

Non-Medical Gas Manifolds

Q: I am aware that medical gas manifold systems have to meet the regulations of NFPA 99-1999 (NFPA 99-2005 for Joint Commission and CMS compliance), and there are specific requirements for a dedicated room, fire rated walls and doors, and dedicated exhaust. However, should a compressed gas cylinder manifold system of “Inergen”, which is used in a fire suppression system, meet the same NFPA 99 requirements for gas manifold rooms? The Inergen cylinders contain a non-flammable compressed gas.

A: Inergen, and other suppression products stored in compressed gas cylinders used in fire suppression systems do not qualify as a nonflammable medical gas, so it is not addressed in NFPA 99. Therefore, the requirements found in NFPA 99 for gas manifold systems, such as fire rated walls and doors, dedicated exhaust, etc., do not apply. However, where fire suppression systems other than automatic sprinklers are installed, section requires compliance with the appropriate NFPA standards, such as NFPA 12 (CO2), NFPA 12A (Halon) and NFPA 2001 (Clean Agent). These standards have specific requirements for the cylinders, such as locating them as close to the hazard (or within the hazard) as possible, properly securing them, and preventing them from coming into contact with harsh chemicals or weather conditions.