Where gases are in use there is usually a requirement for a gas distribution system to be installed.

Safety considerations require that the main store for the gas, whether this be a storage tank or gas cylinders, is located outside in a secure, well ventilated position, away from any sources of ignition. A system of piping is then provided to distribute the gas to the point(s) of use.

Gas distribution systems must be designed and installed in a manner which complies with relevant legislation, for example, the Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations. Refer to BCGA CP 4.

Before putting a gas distribution system into operation all necessary documentation is to be in place and safe systems of work are to be implemented. The gas distribution system is to have an examination, inspection and maintenance regime in accordance with relevant legislation, for example, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations. Refer to BCGA CP 39.

Gas users who need to have a gas distribution system installed on their premises are strongly recommended to work with a Designer who has relevant design experience and to select an Installer experienced in installing pipework for industrial, medical and food gas applications, both of whom are fully conversant with this legislation and industry codes of practice (as detailed below).


Within BCGA pipework is the responsibility of Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) 1. Members can access information on TSC1 via the Committee Meetings area.



CP4 Gas supply and distribution systems (excluding acetylene) Revision 5: 2020

305 Codes of Practice CP4

Provides the minimum safety practices and principles for the selection and assembly of pressure equipment to control and distribute gases. Details the requirements for the design, installation, testing, commissioning and handover of a pressure system. It sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Designer, the Installer and the User.

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CP5 The design and construction of manifolds using acetylene gas from 1.5 to 25 bar Revision 3: 2016

308 Codes of Practice CP5

Covers the design and construction of acetylene gas manifolds, working at pressures from 1.5 bar up to 25 bar, to which single or multiple cylinders can be connected. The statutory requirements in such systems are detailed.

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CP6 The safe distribution of acetylene in the pressure range 0 – 1.5 bar Revision 3: 2015

309 Codes of Practice CP6

Gives guidance on the safe distribution of acetylene at pressures between 0-1.5 bar. Both fixed and mobile systems are included, as are the statutory requirements.

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CP39 In-service requirements of pressure equipment (gas storage and gas distribution systems). Revision 2: 2017

1746 Codes of Practice CP39

Pressure systems require regular examination, inspection and maintenance to ensure the continuing integrity of the equipment and the safety of personnel. This code covers the principles and a risk based methodology to meet these requirements. It includes guidance on Written Schemes of Examination, Ageing Pressure Equipment Assessments and Revalidation of pressure vessels.

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Several BCGA publications provide advice on pipework within their specialist subject areas. All BCGA publications are accessible via the Publications page. The following publications provide specific advice on pipework: