Safety Precautions for Charging and Handling Cylinders The following safety

rules apply to charging and handling scuba cylinders:

Carry cylinders by holding the valve and body of the cylinder. Avoid carrying a cylinder by the backpack or harness straps as the quick-release buckle can be accidentally tripped or the straps may fail.

Do not attempt to fill any cylinder if the hydrostatic test date has expired or if the cylinder appears to be substandard. Dents, severe rusting, bent valves, frozen reserve mechanisms, or evidence of internal contamination (e.g., water scales or rust) are all signs of unsuitability. See CGA Pamphlet C-6, Standards for Visual Inspection of Compressed Gas Cylinders.

Always use gauges to measure cylinder pressure. Never point the dial of a gauge to which pressure is being applied toward the operators face.

Never work on a cylinder valve while the cylinder is charged.

Make sure that the air reserve mechanism is open (lever down) before charging.

Use only compressed air for filling conventional scuba cylinders. Never fill scuba cylinders with oxygen. Air is color-coded black, while oxygen is color-coded green.

Tighten all fittings before pressurizing lines.

■ When fully charged, close the air reserve (lever up). Mark the filled tank to indicate the pressure to which it was charged.

■ Handle charged cylinders with care. If a charged cylinder is damaged or if the valve is accidentally knocked loose, the cylinder tank can become an explosive projectile. A cylinder charged to 2,000 psi has enough potential energy to propel itself for some distance, tearing through any obstructions in its way.

Store filled cylinders in a cool, shaded area. Never leave filled cylinders in direct sunlight.

Cylinders should always be properly secured aboard ship or in a diving boat.

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