Search
  • dan6662

The Importance Of Proper Gas And CO2 Detection

Gas and CO2 detection is commonly used as part of a building’s health and safety structure. Both fixed and portable detectors can be used to protect the occupants of any property from potentially hazardous environments. They can be used to avoid critical situations that wouldn’t have otherwise been realised due to the often odourless and invisible risks.


Fixed gas and CO2 detection will be integrated with a central alarm panel. Their sensitive and reactive nature means that people can be warned of potentially dangerous leaks or issues before they pose too much of a health and safety risk. Without these systems in place, it can prevent buildings from passing inspections and could lead to critical levels of these harmful gases as we saw first hand on a site previously.


Once we had installed these new systems - the extent of the risk displayed was shocking. If it weren’t for our recommendation, the site may never have realised how harmful the levels were and could have had to deal with some of the consequences such as the ones we will discuss below.


Risks Posed By Improper Gas And CO2 Detection


Around the clock, measurements are vital for ensuring every area in a building maintains safe and minimised levels of pollutants, toxins and harmful substances. You will incur less risk by installing the correct devices into your office space.


These hazards are particularly apparent in buildings that house boiler rooms. This is because the confined space can quickly fill with harmful gases, but access will still be required semi-regularly for maintenance and repairs. Known as the ‘silent killer’ - carbon monoxide can leak from pipes and cracks in faulty boilers - spilling out into the rest of the building, almost undetectable without an alarm.


However, wherever possible and even in the absence of a boiler room, Javelin will install products in positions to alert occupants in the event of a critical situation or sudden change in the environment.


Oxygen Depletion


When a room’s atmosphere gets overloaded with pollutants, it can get to a point where the ambient air now makes up the minority of what people are breathing in. This means that there is a reduced level of oxygen, making it unsafe for people to enter without proper apparatus.


The challenge here is identifying where a lack of oxygen is apparent. Usually odourless and colourless, the harmful gases remain undetectable. But when you have the proper detectors installed - they will pick up on even the slightest changes in the atmosphere and alert those both inside and outside of the designated area.


Explosion


In rare cases and usually in specialised warehouses or laboratories - a build up of certain gases (such as methane) to substantial levels can leave a risk of explosion. When under pressure or in the presence of heat and flame, combustion can cause extremely serious damage to occupants and the property.


Where this may be a risk, infra-red or catalytic sensors are usually installed to monitor levels of potentially explosive gases. The advantage here is that they can be set to different sensitivities for pollutants that may be safe in small quantities and even expected to be found in certain areas.


Usually, to ensure the most efficient resolution of any leaks or issues - sensors are set to alert when just 10% of the amount of gas necessary to cause an explosion is detected. This makes it possible to initiate extraction and ventilation of all the areas affected and mitigate the risk before it is too late.


Toxicity


Unfortunately, there are a number of toxic gases that pose health risks when inhaled in certain quantities. However, the ones we are most likely to be exposed to in general life or at work are carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO).


As we mentioned above, the ‘silent killer’ known as carbon monoxide can be of a great risk where boilers are concerned. When fossil fuels are not burned in their entirety, they produce carbon monoxide as a product. This means that using gas, oil or coal to heat our properties poses a risk to our health as well as the environment.


When the gases leak into the atmosphere, they can slowly build up without being detected and cause ill health such as dizziness, headaches, unconsciousness and even more. This is why landlords are required by law to provide carbon monoxide detectors where fossil fuels are used as a source. The same applies to offices or other commercial buildings.


The importance of proper gas and CO2 detection is obvious here and while the government is enforcing these measures - it is also important we install products of the correct standard and carry out regular checks and maintenance.


Monitoring Classrooms


In education, it is highly recommended for classrooms that back onto the boiler room to have detectors for reasons discussed earlier in this article. However, any room can benefit and so it is a good idea to implement the safety feature across schools. With so many people residing in fairly small rooms in close proximity, it will not take much for the levels of carbon dioxide to rise.


Without proper ventilation, and relying solely on open windows and fresh air - it can be difficult to keep these levels within a normal range (especially in colder seasons). It becomes hard to notice when something needs to be done and so having a system in place to monitor this will ensure ventilation is increased when necessary and other precautions can be taken in the event of a leak.

Fixed Gas And CO2 Detection


As well as monitoring an environment, fixed systems offer the advantage of being able to take full control over your safety protocol. The main control panel can not only sound alarms throughout the building but can activate emergency outputs such as extraction and ventilation. This is often found in laboratories that rely on the timely removal of harmful substances but can be programmed in other properties too.


They can even link with your main management system to ensure areas are fully secured or that other processes are terminated to allow for repairs and access where it may otherwise be dangerous. As a result, the automation allows for fast reaction times and the safety of those involved. It mitigates the need for manual intervention as far as possible and monitors the environment consistently.


Energy Efficiency


Furthermore, installing these sensors in various areas of a building can reduce running costs in the long run. Being able to monitor levels of gas in the atmosphere reliably will reduce the need for constant ventilation or extraction. This means that factories, offices and other spaces may not need to run fans or conditioners as often as they currently do.


When they can determine levels are rising slightly too high - the control panel can initiate ventilation or other methods. But when this has balanced out and the room returns to safe levels, they can cut off and ensure the building is running as efficiently as possible. When we run systems like this non-stop, it can help to ensure we keep occupants safe but it may also be unnecessary and costly.


In Conclusion


The practice of proper gas and CO2 detection is something we may not prioritise in our regular health and safety systems. However, they can become integrated and sit as an integral part of daily monitoring. For many buildings, certain parts of this system are also a requirement. Without them, you could risk failing inspections or receiving fines.


Especially where fossil fuels and restricted areas are concerned, it is important we have a professional means of measuring these invisible risks. Not only can the team at Javelin ensure you are getting the right systems, but we can also install them to suit your needs and offer advice on how to integrate them with other building management systems.


For more information about HVAC systems in general, or how we can help with installing sensors on your property, ring us on 07808 791998 or email sales@javelincontrols.co.uk. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your requirements and find a customised solution to suit your needs.


5 views0 comments