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CO2 safety

Several years ago I posted a note to the plant group concerning my near
fatal experience with a CO2 tank.  It was about this time of year - cold
in Michigan.  I had picked up a 20 pound tank at the local gas supply
place.  On the way home just after I had turned off the highway onto a
local road the safety valve dumped the contents of the tank.

The tank was on the passenger side of my van.  Windows immediately
fogged up (a CO2 tank is a fire extinguisher with a different top on
it).  Not only could I see NOTHING but neither could I breathe.  Got the
van stopped and jumped out but did it so fast I didn't put it in Park so
the van continued to slowly roll down the road.  I was able to get it
stopped and waited for the tank to finish discharging through the safety

Had I been going down the highway or in a high traffic area or several
other scenerios then I would not be here to tell the story.

I took the tank back and of course they gave me another.  Their only
explanation is that it must have been overfilled and when it warmed up
in my car it was enough to blow the safety valve, which could have been

When I transport full tanks I keep them in the trunk or to the rear of
my van if that is what I am using.  

Earle Hamilton - AGA