Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Detection2022-08-03T11:49:07-07:00


For the many industries that utilize carbon dioxide gas, a CO2 gas sensor is an important safety addition. Industries that could benefit from CO2 sensors include restaurants, refining, brewing, food processing, water and waste water recovery and power generation, to name a few.

ESC provides a wide range of state-of-the-art CO2 sensors that deliver the best combination of cost effectiveness, reliability and ease of use. Better yet, you can rely on ESC’s extensive experience and expertise to seamlessly integrate CO2 detection into your overall security and fire protection program.

carbon dioxide molecule

While we need carbon dioxide to live, if the blood concentration rises too high you can suffer carbon dioxide intoxication or carbon dioxide poisoning.

The Perfect CO2 Detection and Safety Management Solution for Any Environment

ESC’s CO2 detection experts have the knowledge and experience to determine the exact type of sensors required for any environment or application. This expertise is essential, as getting it wrong when it comes to toxic gases can have life-threatening consequences.

Carbon dioxide is difficult to detect, so having the right sensors with the right technology in the right place is critical. As well as being failsafe, easy-to-use and reliably monitored, ESC CO2 detectors are specifically designed and calibrated for the specific environments in which they are installed. This ensures that even trace amounts of gas are detected long before they reach levels at which harm can occur.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carbon Dioxide Poisoning and Detection

What is carbon dioxide?2021-06-30T09:59:44-07:00

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless and non-flammable gas at normal temperature and pressure. Although much less abundant than nitrogen and oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, carbon dioxide is an important constituent of our planet’s air. A molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) is made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

When we exhale, we breathe out mostly carbon dioxide. This is necessary because carbon dioxide is a waste product that has negative health effects on our body if it is not removed.

At what levels is carbon dioxide dangerous?2021-06-30T09:45:33-07:00
  • 0.04% (400ppm) – this is the normal level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • 1 – 1.5% (10,000 – 15,000ppm) – slight effect on chemical metabolism after exposure of several hours
  • 3% – (30,000ppm) – carbon dioxide is weakly narcotic at this level, resulting in deeper breathing, reduced hearing, headaches and an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate
  • 4-5% (40,000ppm – 50,000ppm) – breathing becomes deeper and more rapid. Signs of intoxication becomes more evident after 30 minutes exposure
  • 5-10% (50,000ppm – 100,000ppm) – breathing becomes more laborious with headache and loss of judgement
  • >10% (100,000ppm) – when CO2 concentration increases above 10%, unconsciousness will occur in less than one minute. Unless prompt action is taken, further exposure will eventually result in death
What types of businesses need CO2 detection?2021-06-30T10:12:57-07:00

Any business that is at risk from a CO2 leak should have CO2 detection included as part of their overall security plan. Businesses and environments at particular risk include:

  • Restaurants, bars, fast food, quick marts
  • Breweries, wineries, stadiums
  • Slaughterhouses
  • Greenhouses and grow facilities 
  • Refrigeration and freezing industry facilities
  • CO2 dry cleaning, carpet/floor cleaning
  • Concerts, theaters, battle reenactments, SFX
  • Swimming pools
  • CO2 HVAC units
  • Bio-ethanol fireplaces
CO2 detection for business
Are CO2 detectors required for some businesses?2021-06-30T09:44:59-07:00

CO2 detection is required in many jurisdictions for certain businesses and environments.

In the 2015 edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), the requirements for CO2 detection are found in Chapter 53, “Compressed Gases.” Section 5307 is “Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Systems Used in Beverage Dispensing Applications,” here’s a look:

5307.5 Required protection. When carbon dioxide storage tanks, cylinders, piping and equipment is located indoors, rooms or areas containing carbon dioxide storage tanks, cylinders, piping and fittings and other areas where a leak of carbon dioxide can collect shall be provided with either ventilation in accordance with Section 5307.5.1 or an emergency alarm system in accordance with Section 5307.5.2.

5307.5.2 Emergency alarm system. An emergency alarm system shall comply with all of the following:

  1. Continuous gas detection shall be provided to monitor areas where carbon dioxide can accumulate.
  2. The threshold for activation of an alarm shall not exceed 5,000 parts per million (9,000mg/m3).
  3. Activation of the emergency alarm system shall initiate a local alarm within the room or area in which the system is installed.

The threshold is a tank of 100 pounds or greater. Within the IFC is a reference to NFPA 55, “Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code.”Chapter 6, “Building-Related Controls,” contains the following requirement:

8 Employee Alarm System. Where required by government regulations, an employee alarm system shall be provided to allow warning for necessary emergency action as called for in the emergency action plan required by, or for reaction time for safe egress of employees from the workplace or the immediate work area, or both.

Can CO2 detection be integrated with my security system?2021-06-30T10:14:32-07:00

Yes, your CO2 detectors can (and often should) be integrated with your security and fire alarm system. This will help ensure that employees are quickly and properly warned and that responding authorities are dispatched with knowledge of the hazmat situation ahead of time.

Can CO2 detectors measure overall air quality?2021-06-30T10:02:01-07:00

Many businesses are now using CO2 detectors to measure overall indoor air quality. According to the Washington Post: “In a new pandemic trend, these establishments can open up large windows or doors and actively measure levels of carbon dioxide, the gas we all exhale when breathing, as a key indicator of how much fresh air is circulating.”

indoor air quality co2 detection

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Your situation and needs are unique. That’s why we don’t believe in “one-size-fits-all” security systems. Every system we design, install and monitor is custom tailored to exactly fit the requirements of each and every client.

To us, you’re not a number – you’re our friend and neighbor. And we go out of our way to treat you that way and make sure you are always completely satisfied with our service.

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