What is a Room Oxygen Deficiency Monitor?

A room oxygen deficiency monitor is an oxygen sensor that controls an audible or visual alarm. The sensor continually monitors the oxygen level in an enclosed area. If the oxygen level in the air drops below a preset value, the alarm warns occupants both inside the room and others before they enter the room.

Oxygen deficiency or depletion alarms are critical in any room or enclosed area that low oxygen levels can occur.

Background: Oxygen Levels in Air

By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.

At normal temperatures and pressures, 21% oxygen in the air is considered optimal for humans. When oxygen levels drop below 19.5% hypoxia (lowered oxygen levels) begins to occur. The air is considered oxygen-deficient, although it is still relatively safe for short periods or for people who have acclimated their bodies to lower oxygen levels.

Oxygen deficiency at levels below 16% is dangerous for humans. The challenge is that the difference between 16% and 21% is typically made up of inert, odorless gases like nitrogen, argon or carbon dioxide, so the oxygen deficiency may not be noticed immediately. If oxygen levels remain low, sudden unconsciousness without symptoms can occur.

Oxygen Deficiency Monitor with Remote Sensor 

To warn occupants of oxygen depletion in an enclosed area or room, oxygen deficiency monitors with remote sensors are used. These include two components:

  • An oxygen sensor housed in a case with audible and visual alarms to warn room occupants
  • One or more remote monitors with duplicate audible and visual alarms to warn personnel before entering the room

The two components are linked by a cable that sends the oxygen level data and power from the remote sensor to the monitor in real time. Typically a wireless connection is avoided, as a problem with the network can disable the monitor and render the system useless.

In addition to the sensor and remote monitor(s), a data link can be made between the sensor and a control panel or dashboard to warn offsite personnel if an oxygen depletion alarm has occurred.

Where are Oxygen Deficiency Monitors Used?

Oxygen alarms are necessary any place where low oxygen levels can occur. While most people think of a closed environment like an airplane or submarine, a much more common example is a room where pressurized tanks of hydrogen, helium or carbon dioxide are stored. If one of the tanks, hoses or fittings leak, the rapid outflow of gas can lower the oxygen level in an enclosed area or room very quickly.

Examples include:

  • Restaurants & Breweries that used liquid CO2 for carbonated drinks
  • Hospitals that store liquid medical gases like Nitrous Oxide or Nitrogen
  • Laboratories that use liquid nitrogen for cryogenics
  • Factories that use liquid nitrogen or CO2 to freeze meats, fruits, ice cream, etc.
  • Factories that use liquid fuel gases or shielding gases for welding
  • Diving supply shops that mix gases to refill SCUBA tanks

Room Oxygen Deficiency Monitors

CO2Meter offers 2 models of room oxygen deficiency monitors: one that monitors oxygen levels only, and one that monitors both oxygen and carbon dioxide. Both offer separate sensor and monitor units, high-visibility strobe add-on kits, and the ability to daisy-chain up to 3 remote displays.

Remote Oxygen Depletion Safety Alarm

oxygen depletion alarm

Our Remote Oxygen Depletion Safety Alarm is designed to protect customers and workers near stored inert gases like nitrogen, argon, helium, nitrous oxide, welding gases and more.

This oxygen monitor alarm has both audible and visual alarms. 3 built-in relays are triggered at 19%, 17%, and 15% respectively that can control an exhaust fan or send an alarm to the fire department or monitoring company. The alarm levels are user configurable to allow for specific applications.

Learn more here.

Remote CO2 + Oxygen Storage Safety 3 Alarm

Our Remote CO2 + Oxygen Storage Safety Three Alarm is designed to protect people who work near carbon dioxide stored in tanks, closets or confined spaces where there is a risk of oxygen depletion in enclosed areas.

This monitor has both audible and visual alarms. 3 built-in relays are triggered at

  • 5,000ppm TWA, 1.5% CO2 and 3% CO2
  • 19%, 17%, and 15% Oxygen

The relays can control an exhaust fan or send an alarm to the fire department or monitoring company. This meets state and local municipality inspection codes requirements around stored CO2.

Learn more here.


 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/welding/fumes.html


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