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Safety, Codes and Standards

Hydrogen, in vast quantities, has been used safely for many years in chemical and metallurgical applications, the food industry, and the space program. As hydrogen and fuel cells begin to play a greater role in meeting the energy needs of our nation and the world, minimizing the safety hazards related to the use of hydrogen as a fuel is essential.

DOE is working to develop and implement practices and procedures that will ensure safety in operating, handling, and using hydrogen and hydrogen systems. In addition, DOE is working with domestic and international organizations to identify the current gaps in the standards development process; facilitate the creation and adoption of model building codes and equipment standards for hydrogen systems in commercial, residential, and transportation applications; and provide technical resources to harmonize the development of international standards.

The H2 Safety Snapshot newsletter outlines safety best practices and lessons learned in hydrogen handling.

The Hydrogen Safety Bibliographic Database provides references to reports, articles, books, and other resources for information on hydrogen safety as it relates to production, storage, distribution, and use.

The Hydrogen Incident Reporting Database provides lessons learned and other relevant information gained from actual experiences working with hydrogen. The database contains records of events involving hydrogen or hydrogen-related technologies.

A Permitting Hydrogen Facilities Web site identifies model codes and standards to help local permitting officials deal with proposals for hydrogen fueling stations, fuel cell use for telecommunications facilities, and other hydrogen projects.

The Introduction to Hydrogen Safety for First Responders Web-based course provides an "awareness level" hydrogen overview for fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel.

The Introduction to Hydrogen for Code Officials Web-based course provides an overview of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, how these technologies are used in real-world applications, and the codes and standards required for permitting them.

The Hydrogen Safety Best Practices Manual is an online manual that captures the wealth of knowledge and experience related to the safe handling and use of hydrogen that exists as a result of its extensive history in a wide variety of applications. The purpose of the manual, prepared collaboratively by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, is to share this knowledge gathered from numerous experts, public domain documents, and references in an online, easy-to-use manner.