E Size O2 Cylinders

Q: Can E-cylinders be stored in a closet where people hang their jackets even if they are in an acceptable storage cart?

A: Yes… up to a certain number of ‘E’ cylinders. Storage of compressed medical gases up to 300 cubic feet in accumulative quantity per smoke compartment is unregulated, other than the requirement in section 11.6.2.3 (11) of NFPA 99-2012 to properly secure the cylinders and to not store them in such a way that they obstruct the required egress. But once the accumulative total of stored gases exceeds 300 cubic feet per smoke compartment, then section 11.3.2 of NFPA 99-2012 regulates how they are stored:

  • Must be in a designated room constructed with non-combustible or limited combustible materials
  • Must have a door that can be secured against unauthorized entry
  • Oxidizing gases cannot be stored with any flammable gas, liquid or vapor
  • Oxidizing gases must be separated from combustibles by 20 feet, or 5 feet if the room is sprinklered, or enclosed in fire-rated cabinets

An ‘E’ cylinder (which is 25.5 inches tall and 4.3 inches in diameter) contains 24 cubic feet of gas when full, so that means you could have up to 12 ‘E’ cylinders in a single smoke compartment before you would have to comply with section 11.3.2 for storage.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.