Life Safety Code Information

portable oxygen tank storage

Storage of Full vs. Empty oxygen tanks

I wanted to share an email that indicates that Life Safety code surveys will be monitoring the storage of full vs. empty tanks. The tanks should be stored separately and indicated by signage. If you use portable gas cylinders and don't currently separate the full/empty tanks or have signage indicating full/empty areas please see below.

From: Valerie Heedum []
Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2016 1:29 PM
To: Achor, Katharine N. (CMS/CQISCO)
Subject: Life safety code question

Hi Katharine,

I was wondering if you would help answer a question I have about oxygen storage.

I am the Account Manager at an oxygen supply company. We work primarily with nursing homes and I have been asked about properly storing full and empty portable e cylinder tanks.

Is it acceptable for the nursing home to keep the E cylinders in the same storage rack as long as they label a “full side” and an “empty side”?

Many of our customers don’t have a lot of extra storage to keep tanks in separate racks in their storage room/closets and I wanted to see if this was an acceptable storage solution for them.

Val Heedum

Account Manager- Nebraska and Western Iowa

Northwest Respiratory Services

Cell 402-440-4352

Customer Service 1-800-232-0706

On Jan 7, 2016, at 3:45 PM, Achor, Katharine N. (CMS/CQISCO) <> wrote:


It would be acceptable to have them in the same storage rack, but they need to be clearly labeled. The regulation follows:

If stored within the same enclosure, empty cylinders shall be segregated from full cylinders. Empty cylinders shall be marked to avoid confusion and delay if a full cylinder is needed hurriedly. 1999 NFPA 99,


Katharine Achor | Health Quality Review/LSC Specialist | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services | Midwest Consortium Division of Survey, Certification & Enforcement | 601 East 12th Street, Room 355, Kansas City, Mo 64106 | phone (816) 426-6480 | fax (443) 380-6052 |

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Val Heedum Account Manager- Northwest Respiratory Services