Carbon monoxide levels in parking structures can be very dangerous to visitors or employees who have to walk a lengthy distance inside these areas. There isn’t a doubt that carbon monoxide is going to be present in enclosed parking structures, and it’s just a matter of how much is there before it becomes a concern. Based on statistics, as little as 0.02 percent of carbon monoxide concentration in the air will cause symptoms of dizziness and nausea in most people.
Is there really an efficient way to control carbon monoxide in these spaces to comply with EPA standards? Most parking facilities use a combination of sensors and fans to ventilate the dangerous fumes to acceptable levels. These are used because they’re more cost-effective than having fans and ventilation systems running constantly.
The Most Common Sensors
Installing gas detectors will be a parking structure’s best defense in regulating carbon monoxide and also bringing more energy efficiency to the owner of the facility. When bought new, the cheapest alternative is going to be solid state metal oxide semiconductor sensors. Other than cost, the benefits to these are that they last a long time without need of repair. Nevertheless, they’re also known for being affected by temperature changes that could make the accuracy less than perfect.
Many facilities choose the more expensive electrochemical sensor that’s more precise in detection accuracy. They’re also energy efficient, despite not lasting as long as metal oxide sensors.
Where Should the Sensors Be Placed?
The location of each sensor is going to depend on the size of the parking facility and where people are most apt to gather. Placing a sensor near an area that gets the most foot traffic is best so there’s never any fear of carbon monoxide affecting someone’s health. These locations can be scoped out on a map of the facility, even though each sensor should be placed by a fan so the fans can turn on when it becomes necessary.
Since you want the sensors to be in a zone near the level of where people stand and breathe, the sensors shouldn’t be any more than six feet up from the floor.
Renting Your CO Sensors
If cost is a concern about buying multiple sensors, consider renting one or many if you can find a business that rents similar equipment. Always be on the lookout for quality brand names you’ll recognize like 3M and Honeywell. Sensors with these names are known to hold up for years under heavy usage.
No matter whether you rent or buy, take the initiative and never let your parking facility fall outside the required EPA guidelines for carbon monoxide.