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Gas Bottle Storage - Gas Cylinder Storage - LPG Gas Bottle Storage Regulations - LPG Gas Cylinder Storage Rules - LPG Storage Requirements

Gas bottle storage regulations and LPG gas cylinder storage rules (LPG storage requirements) are primarily safety related and should be observed at all times. Indoor storage should be avoided whenever possible and limits apply. Gas bottle must always be stored upright, in a well ventilated area and away from any ignition sources.

We are frequently asked if LPG gas bottle storage regulations (LPG gas cylinder storage rules) permit indoor gas cylinder storage (propane gas storage) and, if so, how much? We'll review the LPG gas bottle storage regulations,  LPG gas cylinder storage rules and the Australian Standards to help answer any questions…

Gas Bottle Storage Regulations - Gas Cylinder Storage Regulations - LPG Gas Cylinder Storage Rules

Indoor LPG-Propane Gas Bottle-Cylinder Storage Rules & Regulations Gas bottle storage regulations (LPG storage requirements) are based on the Australian Standards. They are primarily LPG gas cylinder storage rules (gas bottle storage regulations) and LPG gas bottle safety related and should be observed at all times for gas bottle safety and LPG gas cylinder safety:  

  • To ensure that any gas leaks from the gas bottles do not accumulate in the storage area, all gas bottle storage areas must have sufficient ventilation, as per gas bottle storage regulations. The ventilation must be able to disperse any gas in the storage area to safe levels.

  • With LPG gas bottle storage regulations¹, the gas bottle must always be upright, disconnected, valves closed and safety caps on², when not in use.

  • Under LPG tank regulations, gas bottle storage must be prevented from falling and protected from impact and damage, especially to the valve.

  • LPG gas cylinder storage rules (LPG storage requirements) require that LPG gas bottle storage should always be in a well-ventilated area away from any flame, heat or other ignition source

  • Minor indoor LPG gas bottle storage is permitted under LPG gas cylinder storage rules & regulations¹

  • Indoor gas bottle safety and gas cylinder safety limits on quantity apply and placarding may be required.

  • Forklift cylinders not being used are required to be stored outside in well ventilated LPG storage. This is typically in a storage cage at least 6 metres (20 feet) from other structures.

  • LPG should never be stored in excess of 50C (122F) or near a heat source.

  • Even though permitted, indoor LPG gas bottle storage should be avoided whenever possible, for gas bottle safety

  • Pease read more for all of the details about LPG gas bottle storage regulations¹…

¹Gas Bottle Storage Regulations: Australian Standard AS1596-2008 in Section 2;

²Safety cap use where and when applicable

Best Practice & Australian LPG Gas Bottle Storage Regulations for Gas Bottle Safety

The best practice LPG gas bottle safety and gas cylinder safety advice (propane tank safety regulations) is that you should not have LPG gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) indoors. However, minor indoor gas bottle storage is permitted under the LPG gas bottle storage regulations: Australian Standard AS1596-2008 in Section 2. 

The standard LPG gas cylinder storage rules specify how much gas bottle storage you may have inside of a structure but it varies by structure type and size. 

LPG Gas Cylinder Storage Rules

The Standard LPG gas bottle storage regulations do specify:

1. Avoid Indoor Storage Including Not-in-Use Forklift Cylinders

LPG gas bottle storage and use indoors, whether the gas cylinder storage is full or nominally empty, should be avoided whenever possible, per the gas bottle storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations) and for gas bottle safety and LPG gas cylinder safety.  Forklift bottles not in use should be stored outdoors.

LPG gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) should preferably be located outdoors.

2. Knowledge of Storage Hazards and Risks

Users of LPG should be aware of the LPG gas bottle storage hazards and risks associated with gas cylinder storage and use.

3. Upright, Well Ventilated and Away from Ignition Sources

LPG gas bottle storage should always be kept upright and in a well-ventilated area away from any flame, heat or other ignition source. Forklift cylinder storage cages should be at least 6 metres from buildings.

4. Protection from Physical Impact

LPG gas bottle storage must be protected from any physical impact for gas bottle safety and LPG gas cylinder safety.

5.  Protected from Falling Over

LPG gas bottle storage should be located so that they are not likely to be damaged or dislodged under normal circumstances of use. A retention chain or strap should be used.

Any trolley or stand in which the gas bottle storage is housed shall be of metal construction and of adequate stability.

6. Not Blocking Excape or Near Combustible Materials

LPG gas bottle storage should be kept in a location that does not hinder the escape of people and LPG gas storage (propane gas storage) is well away (at least 6 metres) from any combustible or waste materials.

7. Segregated from Oxidizing and Toxic Gases

LPG gas bottle storage shall be kept at least 3 m from oxidizing gases, like oxygen. 

The exception is where the LPG gas bottles and oxidizing gas form part of a portable oxy-fuel system used for welding, brazing, cutting or similar applications.

8. Valves Closed When Not in Use

LPG (propane) gas bottle storage should always be stored with all their valves closed, when not in use, for LPG gas bottle storage safety.

Any gas bottles in use shall be connected only to an approved appliance and used in accordance with AS 5601/NZS 5261 or other applicable Standard.

LPG gas bottles and their fittings shall be inspected for leaks prior to LPG gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) or use.

Workplace safety LPG gas bottle storage regulations and guidelines may apply even to quantities defined as minor LPG gas cylinder storage in this LPG gas cylinder storage rules Standard.

Can You Use a Propane Tank Indoors

According to the Australian Standards, you can store a small propane tank indoors and you can use a propane tank indoors for things like a wok burner. The Australian regulations permit you to have 10kg indoors, per dwelling. However, you cannot use a propane tank indoors for a cabinet heater, which is a heater with the propane tank inside. Cabinet heaters are specifically prohibited.

For more details on propane tanks indoors, please see below.

The Following Indoor Gas Bottle Storage Quantity Regulations Apply:

LPG Gas Bottle Storage Regulations at Home - Residential

Detached house or single storey attached dwelling

Indoor LPG-propane gas bottle storage limit is effectively one 9kg gas bottle

In Australia, with storing LPG gas cylinder storage (propane gas storage) at home, gas bottle storage storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations) permit you to have 10kg indoors, per dwelling. Please note that balconies are considered indoor areas for for LPG gas cylinder safety. 

As there are no 10kg gas bottles available in Australia, this means that the limit of LPG gas bottle storage at home is effectively one 9kg BBQ sized gas bottle or two of the smaller 4kg BBQ gas bottles.

In addition, the maximum gas cylinder storage of combined indoor and outdoor gas bottles (not connected) must not exceed 50kg and no single gas bottle can exceed 15kg, according to the gas bottle storage regulations. 

Note that 45kg home gas bottles connected to your home do NOT fall under this LPG gas cylinder storage limitation.

Multi-storey attached dwellings

Once again, in Australia, the gas bottle storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations) permit you to have 10kg indoors, per dwelling, inclusive of balconies.

Shops, Offices & Laboratories (indoors)

Maximum total quantity is 30kg per occupancy (propane gas storage) with a maximum gas bottle size of 15kg, per the LPG gas cylinder storage rules & regulations and for LPG gas cylinder safety.

Special Note to Hospitality Establishments

If you have gas patio heaters and you store them inside during non-business hours, you may need to remove the gas bottles before bringing them indoors to avoid exceeding these gas bottle storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations) and LPG gas cylinder safety limits.

Outdoor areas of hotels, restaurants & cafes

10 kg per 10 m² of floor area, up to a maximum total quantity of 30kg with a maximum gas bottle size of 15kg, per the LPG gas cylinder storage rules & propane tank safety regulations.

Factories & Warehouses (indoors)

45 kg per 50 m² floor area, up to a maximum total gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) quantity of 180 kg per occupancy with a maximum gas bottle size of 45kg.

Temporary Structures

Special gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) regulations apply to temporary structures. 

This includes open air, temporary structures, such as marquees, tents, booths and under awnings.  
Please refer to the Standard for more information.
For more details, please see this Australian Standard Extract

General Gas Bottle Safety & Gas Bottle Storage Regulations

LPG gas bottle storage (propane gas storage), for LPG gas cylinder safety, should be outdoors in a well ventilated area. Gas cylinder storage should not be stored indoors. 

♦  LPG gas is heavier than air and will collect in low areas instead of dissipating. As a result, there must be adequate ventilation and air movement in any LPG gas bottle storage area.

♦  In the event of a release of gas and without adequate ventilation, gas dissipation occurs slowly and the accumulated gas remains within its explosive range over a longer period of time.

♦  Gas bottle storage areas must be free from sources of ignition, per the gas bottle storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations).

♦  LPG gas cylinder storage must always be stored upright so that the LPG gas cylinder safety pressure relief valve is in the vapour section of the cylinder.

♦  You should treat any LPG gas bottle storage (propane gas storage) that has ever been filled as a full cylinder, even if you believe it to be empty. Only gas cylinder storage purged with inert gas can be once again considered empty.

♦  Never open the valve of any unconnected gas bottle storage, even if it is believed to be empty, as there is almost always some remnant gas in every gas cylinder storage.

♦  Never have more gas cylinder storage than is required.

♦  LPG gas bottle storage must be prevented from falling, movement or physical damage by storing them in approved cages/racks, securing the cylinders with LPG gas cylinder safety chains or using other approved retention methods.

♦  Placarding of gas bottle storage areas is required by the gas bottle storage regulations (propane tank safety regulations) when the combined capacity of the LPG gas cylinder storage exceeds 500 litres of water capacity.

♦  An MSDS for LPG should be located in close proximity to the LPG gas cylinder storage area for fast reference in a gas bottle safety emergency

The Smell of Safety – Odourised Gas

In their natural state, LPG (Propane and Butane) and Natural Gas (Methane) are all odourless gases. 

The distinctive smell that people associate with these gases is actually added to them as a safety measure.

History of Adding Odourant to Gas

odourised LPG

For many decades, the gaseous fuels industry has added odourants to LPG and Natural Gas so that people can detect gas leaks with nothing more than their noses. 

Without the addition of an odourant, leaking gas could collect without being detected. 

This would create a dangerous condition that could lead to an explosion or fire.

Much research has gone into the science of odourants and Ethyl Mercaptan is almost universally recognised as the best choice. 

As a result, it is the most commonly used odourising agent.Smells like rotten cabbage 

The smell of Ethyl Mercaptan is often compared to rotten cabbage.

The strength of the odourant has caused some people to refer to the process of adding the odourant as “stenching”.

How & When it Gets Added

In the case of LPG, the Ethyl Mercaptan is added to the gas as it leaves the main storage terminals. 

The amount added and the process are both carefully controlled. 

The terminals themselves have gas detectors that can identify gas leaks without any odourant having been added.

Special Cases with No Odourant

There are certain applications where the odourant is not added. 

Facilities that use odourless gas must have the same gas detection equipment as the gas terminals. 

For example, Butane is commonly used as an aerosol propellant. 

Needless to say, we wouldn’t want things like hair spray and deodorant to smell like rotten cabbage!

Odourant Fade

Ethyl Mercaptan is not a perfect odourant. 

Under some circumstances, it can fade away and be replaced by a gentler smelling odour that might not be recognised as a gas leak.  

Odourant fade is rare but it can happen. 

While very few instances of odourant fade have been recorded in Australia, it has happened in other countries.

The presence of rust or moisture within an LPG tank could cause this fade. 

To prevent this, new cylinders are filled with dry and inert nitrogen gas, to prevent both rust and eliminate the presence of moisture. 

Once filled with LPG, the risk is virtually eliminated. 

What You Can Do

LPG users can also assist in avoiding odourant fade by making sure that all disconnected gas cylinders have their valves closed, even when completely empty, to stop air (oxygen) and moisture from getting inside the cylinder.

This helps prevent the possibility of internal rusting.

Rust and moisture are also one of the things that are looked for when gas cylinders are periodically re-inspected. 

The presence of either is cause for condemnation of the cylinder.

So, now you know why gas smells the way it does and why it is the ‘Smell of Safety’.

 

 

 

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.