I feel kind of ignorant, but what is so dangerous about an
acetylene "B" tank? I also have oxy-acetylene "C" tanks in my
home and wasn't aware of any danger other than common sense.
There really isn’t anything anymore dangerous about a ‘B’ tank
in a home than in anyplace else, except the people. If they don’t
understand what’s in the tank or how to handle the tank or it’s
contents, it can be dangerous no matter where it is.
This is true about just about anything, tools, gases, cars,
guns, and on and on. The danger comes from the misuse of the
All of that said though, there are some tanks that are more
susceptible to damage than others. Actually, it’s not the tank
that’s susceptible to damage but the valve. The valve on a ‘B’
tank extends about 3" above the tank, all of it unprotected. An
’MC’ valve extends about 2" above the tank, also unprotected.
There are other larger tanks that provide a protective collar
(similar to the collar on a 5 gal/25# propane tank) around the
Of the 3 types of tanks the valve on the ‘B’ tank is the most
susceptible to damage if the tank falls over unexpectedly. All
acetylene tanks, no matter where they’re used or stored, should
be restrained in some manner to prevent them from accidentally
There are date codes stamped in all compressed gas cylinders.
All compressed gas tanks and valves are tested on a scheduled
basis. Companies refilling tanks are required to test tanks
before refilling if the tank is ‘out of date’.
All combustible gases should be stored in a cool, well
ventilated area. They should also be prevented from falling over
(chained or otherwise tied to a sturdy support) and from other
Most combustible gases have a distinct odor to them, or if
odorless, they have an odorant added before being sold. These
odors make it possible for the average person to detect the
presence of even a small, non explosive amount of the gas in an
area. If a gas aroma is detected, others should be prevented from
entering, the source of the gas identified, the gas shut off and
the area ventilated.
Depending on the source of the gas, the tank should be returned
to the supplier or a qualified company (person) called in to
repair any defective piping.