Plenty of hazards are present in parking garages every day. For instance, the fast cars traveling to and from parking spots pose a threat to passersby. Besides the massive machines moving throughout the structure, invisible fumes also pose a health hazard to people. To ensure you can provide your parking garage with the safety tools it needs to function, read the guide below to learn why you need carbon monoxide detectors in parking garages. Although it might be easier to say that they keep people safe, the topic of carbon monoxide exposure and detection is much deeper than that.
Carbon Monoxide Basics
Before moving forward, let’s answer an important question: What is carbon monoxide (CO)? This toxic gas is a common hazard in confined spaces. On top of its toxicity, carbon monoxide is most infamous for its lack of color or odor. These qualities make it hard to notice in any room. Additionally, carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of combustion. In other words, burning fuel releases carbon monoxide into the environment. Unfortunately, this means many common machines in workplaces and at home can create this toxic gas.
Cars and Carbon Monoxide
Motor vehicles are common culprits behind carbon monoxide production. People say you shouldn’t start your car without opening the garage door at home because carbon monoxide can build up in the space. Motor vehicles are frequent visitors to parking garages. As a result, carbon monoxide can accumulate inside the garages. Ideally, a parking garage should have sufficient ventilation, ensuring the CO has a place to escape safely. This ventilation is ideal because good airflow helps keep a garage comfortable and healthy for all occupants.
However, if you don’t have sufficient ventilation in place, the carbon monoxide will float around the garage for occupants to inhale as they drive and walk throughout the space. Given how many cars you likely pass throughout the day, inhaling CO might not sound so dangerous. However, as you’ll read in the next section, inhaling carbon monoxide can have incredibly dire consequences.
Parking garages aren’t wide open areas, so carbon monoxide can easily build up in them without supervision. As a result, the biggest reason parking garages must have carbon monoxide detectors set up is to keep all occupants safe. Carbon monoxide inhalation can cause a series of health problems in individuals, such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, and vomiting. Unfortunately, excessive exposure to carbon monoxide can cause death.
The Carbon Monoxide Bond
So, how does carbon monoxide harm our bodies? Well, it starts with hemoglobin, which is a nifty protein in red blood cells. Thanks to hemoglobin, red blood cells can deliver oxygen from the lungs to the tissues throughout the body. Thus, it helps us thrive and function daily. However, when individuals inhale carbon monoxide, this toxic gas attacks a part of hemoglobin called heme.
Once carbon monoxide bonds to the heme in your blood, it prevents the hemoglobin from carrying oxygen. As a result, the tissue within your body no longer receives the oxygen it needs to survive. To stop such situations in parking garages, individuals in charge of the structure must ensure carbon monoxide detectors are present wherever necessary, analyzing the air for harmful materials, such as carbon monoxide.
Responsibility and Professionalism
Building owners have a responsibility to create a safe environment to the best of their abilities. So, carbon monoxide detectors are crucial for keeping people safe. Further, they help individuals meet their responsibilities when they’re building owners.
At the end of the day, both factors go hand-in-hand; responsible owners create safe buildings, and safe buildings must have responsible owners. Additionally, if other garage owners or local officials notice a lack of adequate safety measures in a parking structure, this won’t exactly send the right message professionally. Luckily, something as simple as investing in the appropriate safety tools will help maintain reliability every day. Now that you know the health problems CO inflicts on the body, you can dive into how carbon monoxide detectors function throughout the day.
How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work
As mentioned above, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. Thus, monitoring confined spaces for carbon monoxide is challenging when you lack the proper tools. A reliable carbon monoxide detector should provide safety and energy efficiency—two things that go hand-in-hand in this case. The atmosphere monitor will help you save energy usage on ventilation fans, activating them only when necessary for safety.
Fans, Monitors, and Energy Efficiency
As carbon monoxide interacts with the monitor, the system experiences a voltage shift, which notifies it when the air contains toxic levels of CO. So, once that voltage changes, the carbon monoxide detector activates the fans successfully.
Through this mechanism, you save energy without compromising the parking structure’s safety. But of course, this concept raises concerns when it comes to vehicle proximity. In other words, if someone parks close to the gas monitor, you might understandably assume that their vehicle will set off the monitor and the fan accidentally. Thankfully, high-quality detectors account for such scenarios.
At TG Technical Services, we carry various parking garage carbon monoxide detector systems, including a Honeywell Network Gas Monitoring System with CO and NO2 Sensors. One of the big benefits of this system is having zoning features that can limit relay activation. They hold off activation until the zone’s average reading surpasses a pre-determined gas level milestone.
Finding High-Quality Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Now that you know why you need carbon monoxide detectors in parking garages, you can avoid creating an unsafe environment for occupants. In simple terms, these tools keep occupants in the parking garage safe. But, you now know the topic goes far deeper than that basic understanding. Thankfully, high-quality carbon monoxide detectors aren’t hard to fine. For instance, at TG Technical Services, our wide selection of parking garage gas monitors includes devices from Honeywell. So, you can expect reliable performance in the field with these products.
Although many gas detector brands are on the market, they all provide different levels of reliability. Therefore, you must choose carefully. Beyond carbon monoxide, our collection of parking garage detection devices can monitor the area for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), oxygen (O2), hydrogen (H2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and other dangerous gases in the atmosphere.