Acetylene Safety Tips

Acetylene is a highly flammable and explosive gas, so it is important to take proper safety precautions when working with it. Here are some acetylene safety tips:

All Situations:

  1. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling acetylene, including safety glasses, gloves, and flame-resistant clothing.
  2. Store acetylene cylinders in an upright position and secure them to prevent them from falling over. Keep them in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources and combustible materials.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby when working with acetylene, and know how to use it in case of an emergency.
  4. Do not smoke or use open flames in the vicinity of acetylene cylinders or when working with acetylene.
  5. Never attempt to fill or refill acetylene cylinders yourself. Leave that job to trained acetylene professionals.

Filling Locations:

  1. Ensure all system controls and safety equipment are working correctly before and during filling operations.
  1. Follow your daily and hourly checklists to ensure key steps are followed.  Be sure to test compressor and generator trips (for abnormal pressure & temperature) on a regular basis.
  2. Before transferring carbide, confirm that an adequate nitrogen purge was completed.
  3. Perform periodic maintenance to verify all scales, safety reliefs and grounding/bonding systems are working to designed parameters.
  4. Immediately before devalving a cylinder for maintenance, always confirm that the cylinder’s  contents have been vented to ambient pressure.

During Use:

  1. Never use acetylene in an enclosed space or in areas where there is insufficient ventilation.
  2. Before using acetylene, make sure that all connections and hoses are secure and in good condition. Inspect them regularly for cracks, leaks, or other damage.
  3. Always use a flashback arrestor on the regulator and torch to prevent flames from traveling back into the gas supply.
  4. Never use acetylene at pressures higher than those recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. If you detect any unusual odors or suspect a leak, turn off the acetylene supply and ventilate the area immediately. Contact an acetylene technical expert to address the issue.

CGA Acetylene Publications

Most Recently Published: CGA G-1.12 – Mechanical Integrity of Generator Systems in Acetylene Plants

Other CGA Acetylene Publications:

IdentificationEditionPublished DateTitle
G-11416 Jul 2021Acetylene
G-1.5628 Jun 2021Guideline for Carbide Lime: Its Value and Uses
G-1.7609 Oct 2020Standard for Storage and Handling of Calcium Carbide in Containers
PS-62124 Jul 2020CGA Position Statement on Maintenance and Safety Devices on Acetylene Compressor Crankcases Without Separation Sections
PS-58111 Feb 2020CGA Position Statement on Acetylene Plant Safe Operating Pressures and Temperatures
C-12724 Jan 2020Qualification Procedure for Acetylene Cylinder Design
G-1.2517 Dec 2019Standard for Acetylene Metering and Piping
G-1.9318 Jun 2019Recommended Practices for Maintaining the Proper Solvent Level in Acetylene Cylinders
PS-9203 Aug 2018CGA Position Statement on the Use of Copper in Acetylene Service
G-1.6816 May 2018Standard for Mobile Acetylene Trailer Systems
G-1.11107 May 2018Guideline for Handling Acetylene Cylinders and Ancillary Equipment in Fires (Formerly SB-4)
C-13719 Jan 2018Standard for Periodic Visual Inspection and Requalification of Acetylene Cylinders
G-1.10116 Oct 2017Guideline for the Safe Operation of Acetylene Generators
G-1.1519 Jul 2017Commodity Specification for Acetylene
G-1.8401 Feb 2017Guideline for the Operation and Closure of Carbide Lime Ponds
P-37303 Sep 2014Good Environmental Management Practices for the Compressed Gas Industry
C-13F604 Jun 2014Recommandations pour l’inspection et la requalification périodiques des bouteilles d’acétylène (C-13, 2009 Edition – French)
SA-23120 Aug 2012Safety Alert, Acetylene Cylinders Missing Required Markings
PS-19118 Nov 2005CGA Position Statement on the Use of Oxygen and Acetylene Cylinders on a Cylinder Cart
SA-2226 Nov 2003Safety Alert, Acetylene

Want to Learn More About Acetylene Safety and Incidents?

CGA Members and GAWDA Subscriber Members are encouraged to register for the 2023 CGA & GAWDA Acetylene/Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Seminar taking place June 12-15, 2023 (June 12 & 15 are committee meeting days) in Greensboro, NC.