CO2 safety monitor sensors should be mounted 12 inches (30.5cm) off the floor.
Prior to installing your CO2 (carbon dioxide) safety monitor, it is important to know that proper gas detection placement is just as important as having the device itself.
Serious thought should be put into planning the placement, electrical wiring, careful protection of devices as well as how to train employees about the devices and what to do if they hear an alarm.
In every instance a risk assessment is the initial key to safety.
Do not confuse CO2 (carbon dioxide) monitors with CO (carbon monoxide) monitors. They are not the same. CO alarms should be mounted in required spaces like commercial kitchens and in or near bedrooms and living areas. CO alarms should always be mounted on the ceiling or six inches below on a wall.
Why mount CO2 alarms 12 inches from the floor?
Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air. If a leak occurs, CO2 will pool on the floor first, then slowly rise.
It helps to think of CO2 gas like water. If your building were flooded, where would the water collect first? That's where CO2 will collect too, and why the CO2 safety monitor sensor should be mounted there.
If you have a basement staircase near a CO2 tank, cylinder or CO2 system manifold, the CO2 gas will flow down the stairs and fill the basement before it will start to fill the main floor. In this case, you should have a safety monitor sensor 12 inches off the basement floor too.
CO2 Safety Monitor Systems
While mounting the CO2 safety sensor 12 inches from the floor is best for early warning, it makes it difficult to read the CO2 level on the screen. This is why most CO2 safety alarms have 2 parts:
- CO2 Safety Monitor Sensor - mounted near the gas 12 inches (32cm) from the floor
- Remote Display - mounted outside the door at 60 inches (152cm).
Note that while both of these devices include audible and visual alarms, the remote display is important because it warns staff before entering an enclosed area with high CO2 levels.
CO2 Sensor Installation Guide
A site assessment should consider two additional factors before you install a CO2 monitoring system.
- You should understand the local and state codes that may require additions to your CO2 safety monitoring system. High-visibility strobe lights mounted above doors are the most common additions required.
- Some jurisdictions also require CO2 safety monitors be tied to the fire alarm panel to trigger an automatic call to the local fire department to warn of a CO2 leak.
Depending on your local inspector or fire codes, meeting these requirements is not an option. You can be fined if these requirements are not met.
Once you know the approximate location of the sensors, the confined space, and how many you'll require, the next step is to determine how to power them.
While our CO2 Safety Monitors use a 110-220 VAC 50/60 Hz to 12VDC power, a 24 VDC hard-wired power option is available if normal wall power is not readily available or if the user prefers the added benefit of ensuring the device cannot be unplugged. The important thing to remember is that the CO2 sensor should be mounted in such a way that it cannot be accidentally damaged when moving kegs, crates or gas cylinders nearby. In addition, if using the power adapter insure that the plug is secured to the wall so that staff does not accidentally or purposefully unplug the alarm.
Remote Display Installation
Both the CO2 Sensor unit and remote display unit have audible and visual alarms. However, while the CO2 Sensor monitors in an enclosed area where a potential CO2 leak could occur, the Remote Display is designed to be mounted outside the space and to warn staff of a potential gas leak before entering the area.
Remote displays should be mounted 60 inches (152cm) from the floor and near the door frame of any door entering the enclosed area. They should be mounted on the same side as the door handle to insure they are not covered when the door is open.
Most CO2 safety monitors include the ability to daisy-chain two or more remote displays to a single CO2 sensor if their are more than one entry door.
CO2 Safety Signage
Once the CO2 safety sensor and remote display(s) are installed, you should install safety signage at every door. The signage should be visible whether the door is opened or closed.
Note that our CO2 Safety Systems include necessary signage in both English and Spanish. You can download these signs to print here.
Depending on your local codes, you may also be required to have National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 704 signs on the outside of your building to warn emergency first responders of stored gases inside your facility. Learn more about NFPA 704 signs for CO2 here.
Bulk CO2 Safety Coverage
In these applications monitors cover approx. 1,500 sq. feet (length x width of the space). Typically, placing the CO2 sensor within 10 feet of the bulk CO2 storage tank, cylinders, and the BIB rack is sufficient. Larger spaces or facilities where these components are separated may require additional monitors. Enclosed rooms or spaces like closets, offices, bathrooms, and keg coolers may require additional monitoring as gas can be trapped in these spaces because of the enclosure.
CO2 Enrichment Areas
Applications where CO2 is intentionally injected into a space (called enrichment) will also require CO2 safety monitoring. Indoor agriculture environments are intentionally enriching their spaces to induce plant growth. The intentional enrichment of the spaces will necessitate the need for safety monitors.
However, each installation should be considered individually to account for the particular layout and any varying or enclosed spaces within the footprint. Select a monitoring provider that will assist you in laying out your facility to ensure correct coverage and approval by your local authorities.
Note that the suggestions above are best practices gained from experience, but are not an endorsement of any specific location in your building. Every installation is different. If you have questions about your installation, contact your local building inspector.
For further information on CO2 safety monitoring, meeting code compliance, or overall installation tips - speak to an expert today, Sales@CO2Meter.com.