CO2 Monitoring and Safety in Beverage and Restaurants

With the highly anticipated Oktoberfest 2019 coming to a close, we bet you didn't realize with each pint you ordered - it most likely was served using CO2!

Yes. All beer which leaves the brewery is carbonated.

Even the largest of restaurant and beverage events like Oktoberfest in Munich, utilize our favorite gas, carbon dioxide. Whether the industry is using CO2 to give "oomph" to your "go-to" beverages, dissolute, or assist in fermentation - it is present.

Yet what many individuals fail to realize is that while carbon dioxide or CO2 is vital in restaurant and beverage industries, it also is poses a huge safety concern for those working in and around the invisible gas. 

What is CO2 monitoring?

In simple terms, Carbon Dioxide monitoring is used in beverage dispensing industries, craft breweries and restaurant facilities to protect customers and workers who work around CO2.

What distinguishes a CO2 monitor depends upon a few specific requirements: 

  • A CO2 Monitor system must have a remote display, allowing one to see and evaluate CO2 levels when the alarms are triggered and sounding without going into the area of potential danger. 
  • The device must have audible/visual alarms, and must sound and flash at three different levels of CO2 (5,000 ppm TWA, 1.5% and 3% CO2).
  • A CO2 Monitor must have a relay that automatically triggers an exhaust fan to ventilate the area on the first alarm. Some jurisdictions even require a second alarm relay to trigger the fire control panel of the building and directly notify your local fire department.
  • CO2 Monitors also could require additional safety accessories, such as a strobe light or horn strobe with the sensing device.

Understanding the Remote CO2 Storage Safety Meter

Luckily for these industries, the Remote CO2 Storage Safety 3 Alarm or RAD-0102-6 is a CO2 Monitor that was designed to meet all of the requirements above, and is utilized by customers worldwide.

The RAD-0102-6 meets NFPA, NBIC, IFC, and OSHA/NIOSH standards.

In addition, the CO2 Storage Safety Meter offers the following features:

  • Easy to read screen which displays current CO2, and Temp
  • Wired CO2 Monitor & Remote Display
  • UL listed for compliance
  • NBIC-compliant warning signs in English and Spanish included
  • Easy Installation will all mounting brackets included
  • 4-20 mA output to allow for remote display of values
  • IP54 Enclosure - prevents against water damage during splash-down

In order to insure proper installation of the Remote CO2 Storage Safety 3 Alarm, we recommend that industries also note local and state codes that may require additional specifics in regards to the placement. The most common addition is the requirement of strobes to also be configured. Some jurisdictions also require that monitors be tied to the fire alarm panel to trigger an automatic call to the local fire department, to warn of a CO2 leak. While meeting these requirements may seem optional, you will be fined if these requirements are not met. 

Common CO2 monitoring applications

Beverage Dispensing Areas - a tremendous amount of beverage industries use our RAD-0102-6 to monitor approx. 1,250 sq feet. When using the RAD-0102-6 in beverage dispensing areas, placement is commonly within 10 ft. of the bulk CO2 storage tank or BIB racks.

Restaurant and Hospitality - when using the Remote CO2 Storage Safety Alarm in applications which include larger coverage areas, such as a keg cooler or beer tap - CO2 sensing units typically are installed anywhere between 12-18 inches from the floor, and the remote display is installed/mounted at eye level.

Always keep in mind that monitors should be placed in any area that is most likely to experience a leakage to ensure rapid detection to mitigate any hazards from occurring. 

Standard practice is for anyone handling carbon dioxide (CO2), whether it be in liquid, solid or gas form to be aware of proper CO2 safety precautions; and to ensure CO2 safety monitoring to prevent injury from occurring.

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