BCGA Member22

Liquid Gas Storage Tanks - Your Responsibilities

Users and owners of liquid gas storage tanks have legal responsibilities and a duty of care to ensure the equipment is maintained and operated safely.  When these tanks are filled by a gas company, the gas company will require evidence of compliance with these responsibilities.


Before putting liquid gas storage tanks in to use, owners and users must familiarise themselves with the relevant legislation and good practice.  The following is intended to be a simple user guide.  For more detailed information refer to the relevant BCGA publications.


Before First Fill

Ensure the tank, associated equipment and the installation are fit for purpose and in a safe condition for use.  Connected pipework shall be of a suitable design and compliant with BCGA CP 4 (4).


Compliance.  Compliance with legal requirements is required, including: a Written Scheme of Examination under the PSSR (3), Risk and COSHH Assessments under the HASAW Act (1) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (2).  A technical file is required that includes a copy of the original manufacturer's test certificate.  A Revalidation Certificate is necessary if the tank is over 20 years old.  For CO2 tanks, compliance with BCGA GN 10 (9) including a specific GN 10 (9) risk assessment.  An Ageing Pressure Equipment Assessment in accordance with BCGA CP 39 (8).


Location.  Tank location should be safe and suitable, including ventilation, gas detection and safety distances. Appropriate security arrangements to be in place. Refer to BCGA CP 26 (5), 30 (6), 36(7).


Signage and Tank Identification.  Appropriate signage, marking and labelling is required, including valve identity tags. All should be legible, in good condition, visible and kept up to date.  A vessel data plate shall be permanently attached to the tank.  As a minimum, the following information is to be available and clearly marked:-


The manufacturer's name.
A serial number to identify the vessel.
The date of manufacture of the vessel.
The standard to which the vessel was built or CE type approval designation.
The maximum allowable pressure of the vessel (or design pressure).
The minimum allowable pressure of the vessel where it is other than atmospheric.
The design temperature.


Use and Training.  Standard Operating Procedures shall be established and documented. All personnel are to have appropriate training and be competent in their roles.


Overpressure Protection Devices.  Devices shall be fitted correctly, be appropriately sized, have appropriate set point, correct pressure rating and be in-date for use.
Two independent devices are required (this may comprise, for example, a safety relief valve and a bursting disc, or two safety relief valves).  For vacuum insulated tanks a suitable outer vessel relief device shall also be fitted.


Filling Area.  The Tanker delivery area should be safe and suitable with due regard to local hazards, confined spaces, ventilation, etc.


Emergency Procedures.  Emergency Procedures should be established and documented.


Subsequent Filling

The tank, its associated equipment and the installation shall be maintained in a safe condition for filling and remain fit for purpose.

The filling area shall be kept clear of debris, especially combustible material.  General housekeeping and security shall be maintained to a high standard and delivery vehicle access
and egress remain clear.

All operators shall be competent and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.  Gas monitors / alarms shall be operational and checked periodically to ensure
correct operation.  Non-authorised personnel are to be excluded from the area.

Users and owners should work with the Gas Companies to review the checks in Section 1 on an annual basis to assess the installation for its continued suitability for ongoing replenishment.


Routine Checks

A daily check must be carried out in accordance with BCGA L 11 (11), this should include the operation of valves and the condition of fittings.  Records should be maintained by the user / operator detailing the completion of the check, noting any operational problems encountered and recording these in the technical file with details of the corrective action undertaken.



Carry out appropriate maintenance taking account of the manufacturer's recommendations and the environment in which the tank is located.



All examinations to be carried out in accordance with the Written Scheme of Examination, by a Competent Person.


Repairs and Modifications

Repairs may only be carried out using compatible parts, materials and pressure rated components within the scope of the original design with the approval of the competent person.

Any repairs requiring hot work to the pressure vessel, or modifications to the tank design, should only be carried out by authorised repair companies / manufacturers with the approval of the authorised competent person.  Full details and quality assurance documentation are to be kept within the technical file.



To ensure the tank remains fit for purpose, a full revalidation should be carried out on vacuum insulated tanks at a frequency not exceeding 20 years.  Refer to BCGA CP 39 (8). For
mobile vessels not directly covered by Road Transport regulations, more frequent revalidation may be considered.


Reference Information

1. The Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).

2. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

3. SI 2000 No. 128, The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR).

4. BCGA CP 4, Industrial gas cylinder manifolds and gas distribution pipework (excluding acetylene).

5. BCGA CP 26, Bulk liquid carbon dioxide storage at users' premises.

6. BCGA CP 30, The safe use of liquid nitrogen Dewars up to 50 litres.

7. BCGA CP 36, Cryogenic liquid storage at users premises.

8. BCGA CP 39, In-service requirements of pressure equipment installed at user premises.

9. BCGA GN 10, Implementation of EIGA carbon dioxide standards.

10.BCGA GN 17, BCGA policy and guidance for the safe filling of 3rd party owned and/or maintained bulk tanks.

11.   BCGA L 11, Safety checks for vacuum insulated storage tanks.


The vessel manufacturer or your gas supplier may be able to provide further technical and safety information.

WARNING – Failure to comply with these minimum requirements may mean you are operating illegally, you may not be covered by your insurance and your gas supplier may not fill your tanks.


This is a reproduction of BCGA Leaflet 12 - Download a copy from here