Q: Our gas storage room has little mini-helium tanks which are full and under pressure. Are these tanks required to be restrained in the same way that the larger ‘E’ size cylinders are? The same room has a lot of O2 and CO2 tanks secured and stored. Is this room considered a hazardous room and does the door require a closer in existing healthcare occupancy?
A: Yes, the mini-helium tanks have to follow the same regulations as the larger compressed gas cylinders, and need to be properly secured. In regards to hazardous room… not necessarily. Once the total aggregate volume of non-flammable compressed gas exceeds 3,000 cubic feet, then the room has to be 1-hour fire rated and of course, the door would have to be fire-rated, positive latching and self-closing. If the quantity of compressed gas exceeds 300 cubic feet, but is less than 3,000 cubic feet, then the cylinders need to be stored in a designated room with 30-minute fire rated walls, have a lockable door and all cylinders must be separated from combustibles by 20 feet, or by 5 feet if the room is protected with automatic sprinklers.