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Pressurised containers, aerosols and gas cylinders

Hazard Knowledge

Waste management sites are likely to contain varying quantities and types of pressurised containers. These can vary in size from domestic aerosols to larger pressurised gas cylinders, and will present projectile and explosion risks if involved in fire.

Site staff in well-managed sites may be aware of the presence and location of pressurised containers, especially if they are used within a site process or used to power machinery such as forklift trucks.

At sites that are potentially involved in recycling pressurised containers, a large quantity of containers may be present. The storage conditions of the containers will vary from site to site.

At sites that are not so well managed, or used illegally as waste dumping sites, the presence of unknown or unexpected pressurised containers may be higher.

Many sites, such as scrap metal dealers and end of life vehicle sites, may have acetylene cylinders present. There may also be many types of vehicle components, such as pressurised boot or bonnet struts, that can explode if heated.

Information on pressurised containers can be found in National Operational Guidance: Hazardous materials.

In addition to pressurised containers, other sealed metal objects such as box-welded sections of skips, box-welded vehicle components or sealed radiators can become pressurised, resulting in a projectile blast hazard. For further information refer to National Operational Guidance: Fires and firefighting.