When handling medical gas cylinders – it’s important to follow the right safety guidelines.

Whether it’s home oxygen cylinders or medical gases in a healthcare facility, there are some real risks associated with cylinder mishandling and misuse.

As part of our work on Technical Sub Committee 7 – Medical Gases, for the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA), the AMS Composite Cylinders team helped to create Technical Information Sheet 36.

Entitled Medical Gases – The Safe Handling and use of gas Cylinders Fitted With Valves With Integrated Pressure Regulators, it details the best practice guidelines to keep medical gas users safe in every environment.

You can read the original note in its entirety here.

Technical Information Sheet 36 – An Overview

TIS 36 is designed to provide expert safety guidance related to medical staff, patients and third parties using oxygen cylinders and other medical gas cylinders fitted with valves with integrated pressure regulators.

It includes:

  • The importance of correct handling and use
  • The risk of fire
  • The benefit of integrated pressure regulators
  • Relevant valve standards
  • Key warnings
  • Handling and usage guidance

Key Recommendations

The information sheet includes a wealth of warnings, advice and guidance designed to keep cylinder users safe.


Fire is one of the key risks associated with medical oxygen use. While oxygen is not flammable, it does support combustion, and high concentrations of oxygen increases both the risk and potential consequences of fire.

The document features a series of points regarding minimising fire risk, including:

  • Do not smoke or use naked flames near medical gases
  • Keep cylinders free of oil and grease
  • If using alcohol gel on hands, ensure it has fully evaporated before touching cylinders

Labels and seals

Including guidance on reading the label, and the key information that needs to be checked before use. It also offers advice on tamper seals.

Gas levels

Offering advice on gas levels, checking the contents gauge and when to replace a partially full cylinder.

Valves and Flow selectors

Providing guidance on reducing contamination, opening/closing the valves, setting the flow selector, and monitoring gas flow.


Covering tube connection, prone connection, checking for leaks and safely venting gas in the case of a leak.


Including information on preventing cylinders from falling over, safely positioning cylinders to minimise the risk of accidents and securing cylinders in a healthcare setting.


Guidance on what to do in case of faults with gas cylinders and valve assemblies.

Medical Oxygen Cylinders from AMS Composite Cylinders

AMS Composite Cylinders supplies state of the art, lightweight gas cylinders for a wide range of healthcare, homecare, breathing gas and medical gas applications.

We supply clients across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, providing industry leading quality, reliable service and short lead times.

Producing cylinders to a wide range of recognised global standards, we hold accreditations in all major markets worldwide. We manufacture to ISO and EN standards (including ISO-11119-2, ISO 11119-1, EN 12245, EN 12257, ISO 7666, ISO 11118) and to the requirements of UN PED/TPED, DOT (USA) and TC (Canada).


For additional information AMS Composite Cylinders, our medical gas cylinders and our accreditations, please contact us today.