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CO2 Monitoring System Installation


Before installing your CO2 (carbon dioxide) monitoring system, it is important to know that proper device placement is important for full functionality and employee safety.

Careful thought should be put into planning the system placement, electrical wiring, and protection of the devices as well as training employees about what to do if they hear an alarm.

The CO2 sensor should be mounted 12 inches (31cm) from the floor. The CO2 monitoring system display should be mounted 60 inches (152cm) from the floor.

Note: Do not confuse CO2 (carbon dioxide) monitors with CO (carbon monoxide) monitors. Here's how they are different. CO alarms should be mounted in residential or commercial spaces to detect CO gas generated by flames or furnaces. CO alarms should be mounted on the ceiling or near the top of a wall.

CO2 Monitoring Systems

CO2 monitoring systems are used anywhere compressed CO2 is stored or used indoors. Depending on the application they may be required by state or local jurisdictions.

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:

  1. CO2 Sensor - mounted near the gas 12 inches (32cm) from the floor
  2. Remote Display - mounted outside the door at 60 inches (152cm).
  3. CO2 Safety Signs - to warn occupants if a leak occurs.

Note that while both devices include audible and visual alarms, the remote display and safety signs are important because they warn staff before entering an enclosed area with potentially high CO2 levels.

co2 safety monitoring system height

CO2 Sensor Installation

A site assessment should consider two additional factors before you install a CO2 safety monitoring system.

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Contact us for information about your local codes.

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 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.

Why mount CO2 sensors 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.

Remote Display Installation

co2 alarm remote display

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 connect two or more remote displays to a single CO2 sensor if there is 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.

CO2 Storage Safety Sign

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 System Area Coverage

CO2Meter Remote CO2 Storage Safety 3 Alarm RAD Installation Process and Guide

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 Area Coverage

    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 - contact us today.

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