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Oxygen: Operational Supply vs. Storage

Question asked by John Watts on Mar 22, 2018
Latest reply on Mar 27, 2018 by Milton Werner

I have 12 E cylinders of oxygen on the medical floor in a hospital. I understand that up to 300 cubic feet is allowed to be in the corridor alcove or nurses' station without any special requirement. We placed the oxygen in a clean room so it is out of the way.

 

The standard states: 

≥ 3,000 cubic feet Storage locations are designed, constructed, and ventilated in accordance with 5.1.3.3.2 and 5.1.3.3.3.

 > 300 but <3,000 cubic feet Storage locations are outdoors in an enclosure or within an enclosed interior space of non- or limited- combustible construction, with door (or gates outdoors) that can be secured. Oxidizing gases are not stored with flammables, and are separated from combustibles by 20 feet (5 feet if sprinklered) or enclosed in a cabinet of noncombustible construction having a minimum 1/2 hr. fire protection rating.

 

The following is not in the NFPA 99 standard, but CMS adds this to their K Tag (K923) for citation purposes.

≤ 300 cubic feet In a single smoke compartment, individual cylinders available for immediate use in patient care areas with an aggregate volume of ≤ 300 cubic feet are not required to be stored in an enclosure. Cylinders must be handled with precautions as specified in 11.6.2.

 

Since the volume of oxygen in the room is ≤ 300 cubic feet, is it true that 11.3.2.3 does not apply? 

Or, does placing the oxygen in the clean room result in the oxygen being considered to be "in storage" and that the rules/requirements under 11.3.2.3 do apply? I am a bit confused as to when do the requirements specifically apply. If I have of oxygen ≤ 300 cubic feet in a clean room for medical operations (patient transports, etc), should the 5 foot rule of clearance to combustibles not apply? If it does, why would 11.3.2.3 stand alone, if the requirements of 11.3.2.1 and 11.3.2.2 are solely dependent upon 11.3.2 oxygen volume?

 

Thanks for any input.

John

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