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April 02, 2020

If you’re reading this article, and you own a bar or pub, the likelihood is that you probably do need to install a CO2 detector in your bar area or cellar. Read on to find out more about the use of CO2 in bars and pubs and why it’s vitally important to monitor carbon dioxide levels.

Why is carbon dioxide used in pubs and bars?

CO2 is needed in pubs and bars for the carbonation of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. What is carbonation? A simple answer to that would be, bubbles, it’s what gives beverages its distinct fizzy texture. However, carbonation is really a dissolution of CO2 in a liquid, causing the gas to rise and fizz when the pressure is released, for example, the opening of a bottle. 

Many establishments tend to purchase CO2 in bulk in order to reduce costs, however as the cylinders are likely to be stored in a confined space such as a pub or bar cellar, it is important to protect workers and customers from potential leaks. 

Is CO2 a dangerous gas?

If you use CO2 in any facility, it’s important to understand that it can be extremely dangerous if a leak is left undetected. The dangers of carbon dioxide are not to be taken lightly, but unfortunately they are often forgotten or overlooked! It’s easy to see why the safety of CO2 is sometimes disregarded because it is a naturally occurring gas that is expelled by a number of species, including human beings. Carbon dioxide exists naturally in the air we breathe at around 0.04, however just a small increase in levels can be seriously harmful to humans, especially if it accumulates in densely populated or confined spaces. 

CO2 is completely odourless and colourless meaning without a CO2 detection system it’s almost impossible to detect. If a CO2 leak occurs, those in the area could be in serious danger, so it’s good to know the symptoms of CO2 exposure in order to act fast. 

Symptoms of CO2 Exposure

Now that we have established that CO2 is in fact, a very dangerous gas, let’s find out exactly what happens to the human body when it’s exposed to different levels:

  • 1% - At this slight increase, those exposed will suffer from drowsiness.
  • 3% - CO2 will start to affect things such as heart rate and blood pressure, those exposed may even experience reduced hearing and mild narcosis
  • 5% - At this level symptoms such as dizzinessconfusionheadache and shortness of breath may occur. 
  • 8% - In the case of 8% exposure, humans will start to suffer from dimmed sightunconsciousnesssweating and tremors.
CO2 Exposure symptoms

In more serious cases, some CO2 leaks have sadly resulted in fatalities or life threatening injuries. If someone experiences these symptoms make sure to seek medical attention urgently.

How to protect yourself from potential CO2 leaks

To make sure that employees and customers are not affected by the symptoms above, it’s important to monitor CO2 levels in any facility that uses the gas. It’s likely that there are local regulations and standards, depending on where you are in the world, surrounding CO2 exposure limits in the workplace, you can comply with these by installing a CO2 detector. 

CO2 detection system



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