Hydrogen Cylinder Fire in Laboratory

Severity: 
Leak: 
Ignition: 
2004

An employee of an incubator company that was working in a university-owned laboratory facility was checking the hydrogen pressure through the main valve on a hydrogen cylinder. The regulator on this cylinder had not been properly closed. Hydrogen escaped through the regulator and was ignited. The fire was contained in the laboratory and extinguished by the building's fire sprinkler system before fire crews arrived. There were no injuries, and damage estimates were not available.

Setting: 
Equipment: 
  • Hydrogen Storage Equipment
  • Gas cylinder
Damage and Injuries: 
Probable Cause: 
Characteristics: 
When Incident Discovered: 
Lessons Learned: 

Incident investigation findings for corrective actions were:
1. Install a valve after the regulator as an added precaution.
2. Clean the coupler at the end of the hydrogen delivery tube after each use to ensure that any catalyst residue has been removed.

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