Halloween can be a scary time of year, with tales of ghosts and ghouls, spookily decorated houses and everyone from kids to animals dressed as spiders, witches, zombies and mummies… but make sure they’re the only things making you want to pass out!
Another invisible threat that could get your heart rate up and take your breath away, is being exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide. CO2 is undetectable by human senses including no smell, no colour and no sound, so if a leak did occur in an enclosed space or work area you would be completely unaware.
This potentially toxic gas is commonly found in the beverage and hospitality industry in the carbonation and fermentation processes, and is safe in small quantities. However, if these levels rise, the consequences could be deadly.
How can you detect CO2?
The gas is completely invisible, you therefore need a sensor to detect if there has been an increase in the atmosphere. The most commonly used sensor in the industry for detecting CO2 is ‘infrared’.
The technology consists of a gas path with an infrared (IR) source on one end and a light detector with an infrared filter on the other end. The infrared filter is selected to prevent light getting to the detector unless it is of a certain wavelength, which depends on the gas it is detecting.
If there is no target gas to detect, then when the IR lamp flashes, all light hits the filter. The filter’s selected light passes through to the detector which measures the amount of light received. The detector has the highest signal when no target gas is present in the gas path.
If the gas being detected (target gas) is present, when the IR lamp flashes, the target gas absorbs the light of the relevant wavelength and what’s left hits the filter. The filter’s selected light (minus absorbed by target gas) passes through to the detector which measures the amount of light received.
How to stay safe from CO2 leaks
In order to protect those working in an area where CO2 is present including bars, breweries, restaurants, stadiums and theatres, or anywhere where carbonation of soda is on site you will need to have a CO2 monitor.
We hope those of you who celebrate Halloween have a spooktacular time but just remember the effects of CO2 exposure can be scarier than you think! Check out our previous blog telling you about the harmful effects of increased levels of CO2.