Well what I have found is, people like to tinker with the safety measures at hand. And especially with full tanks of gas, when you get someone that accidentally or intentionally tampers with the restraints in play, you are still held liable for all damages that cylinder causes, including personal injury. Though there is no WRITTEN regulations against them being in the used hallway of high traffic of people, it is an unspoken rule that, as Murphy's Law would say, if it can go wrong, it will. So, what I would strongly suggest to you is, if you haven't had an accident yet, don't tempt fate. I would find a different storage area. Even if it is in a lab. At least there, there will be proctors and professionals around so that they can watch the cylinders that are stored there so that they are not tampered with. Because when they are placed in a hallway, can you have a security guard there to watch them when people are walking around all the time? It isn't feasible as a viable solution. I hope this gives you the other side to the situation, and hopefully, will give you some strong suggestions to maybe find a new spot for gas storage.
Other than best practices, I am having a difficult time finding a specific reference in any standard or regulation that would specifically prohibit storage of nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide compressed gas cylinders in hallways. We've looked at fire code, building code, OSHA regulations, ANSI, and Compressed Gas Association standards. Many universities have their own rules prohibiting it (best practice), and I'm wondering if it is related to security of the cylinders (to prohibit tampering with the cylinder).
Other than fire code prohibiting obstructions for egress, I am having trouble finding a compelling regulatory requirement that would satisfy our researchers. The cylinders currently in the halls are securely fastened to the wall and they have signage.
Boulder Safety, Health and Environment
National Institute of Standards and Technology
325 Broadway, MC 153.02
Boulder, CO 80305
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