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CSB makes recommendations for facilities like Praxair

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By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A federal board released its recommendations Thursday after investigating last year's Praxair fire and other incidents.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board says valves on propylene cylinders, like the one that led to last year's fire at Praxair, should have a higher pressure point before gas is released.

The board also says companies should install fire protection systems to cool cylinders, gas detectors to set off alarms, and barriers to keep cylinders from rocketing out of a facility if they do catch fire.

But the CSB is not a regulatory board, and its recommendations are just that.

Chairwoman Carolyn Merritt says the board feels the recommendations will be taken seriously.

"We make non-binding recommendations, but we have a very good response from industry and other organizations," Merritt said.

Praxair spokesman Nigel Muir says the company has changed valves on its propylene cylinders because the old ones malfunctioned not because the pressure release was too low.

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