As many as three out of every four gas cylinders left unclaimed in pubs and clubs would fail BOC Sureserve tests and need to be scrapped to avoid the risk of injury to licensees, says the gases expert.

The stark finding comes from tests on unclaimed drinks dispense gas cylinders carried out by BOC Sureserve's cylinder investigation department. A batch of drinks dispense gas cylinders gathered by Keg Watch from pubs across the UK were subjected to hydraulic testing and external shot blasting to remove paint and reveal cylinder serial numbers.

Amongst other findings the testing revealed extensive signs of external and internal corrosion, nearly one in three cylinders contained moisture and all but three were without a positive pressure valve. In total, 30 out of the 40 cylinders tested were deemed unfit by BOC investigators and would have been scrapped rather than put back into circulation.

BOC Sureserve product manager, Piers Capper said, $quot;This investigation is a valuable 'snapshot' of a growing threat to cellar safety and it's clear from the results that unclaimed cylinders, which otherwise may appear to be in adequate order, are in fact damaged.$quot;

$quot;Corrosion is the greatest threat to cylinder condition and is caused by cylinders being damaged and left in wet conditions for extended periods or from moisture getting into the cylinder and reacting with residual CO2. The other concern is the number of cylinders without manufacturer and owner identification or testing tags, all of which are crucial for establishing whether the cylinder is being tested regularly and is fit for purpose.$quot;