Co2 Fire Suppression and Staying Safe

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Co2 fire suppressionCo2 fire suppression is necessary in certain applications. If equipment is sensitive to water, Co2 fire suppression could be a good choice. However, Co2 fire suppression does cause the risk of Co2 poisoning. Check out our tips from NFPA 12 to stay safe.

• Any personnel who enter a space protected by a carbon dioxide fire suppression system (or a space adjacent to a carbon dioxide fire suppression system where CO2 could migrate after a discharge) must be warned of the hazard and trained on safety evacuation procedures.

• Oil of Wintergreen must be added to the carbon dioxide to give it a distinctive smell and warn personnel of carbon dioxide discharge. Personnel need to be trained to notice the smell and evacuate when the smell is detected.

• Automatic carbon dioxide alarms need to be installed with a visual and audio element.

• Confined space procedures for areas that have carbon dioxide suppression must be established and enforced.

• Staff needs to be trained on the safety risks of carbon dioxide.

• Lockout valves are required on all carbon dioxide systems. The exception is if the space is too small for people to enter. However, if that space would allow seepage and the carbon dioxide to migrate from that confined space, then lockout valves do need to be added whether a person could fit in the space or not. In addition, a service disconnect cannot replace a lockout valve.

Remember, while Co2 doesn't seem dangerous - it's added to soft drinks after all - in concentration of 10% or more, it can be deadly.  Protect yourself by following NFPA 12 guidelines.