Is it necessary to have carbon monoxide detectors for businesses?
Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous gas. It is odorless and colorless and therefore can be very difficult to detect. It can also be very harmful and can lead to brain and lung damage and suffocation due to exposure. Carbon monoxide alarms are required in a residential setting but it may also be a good idea to have them installed in your place of business.
Causes of Carbon Dioxide Exposure
Carbon Monoxide is formed when fuels do not burn completely. These fuels can include wood, gasoline, coal, propane, natural gas, gasoline and heating oil. Common sources include clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens and ranges, a fire burning fireplace or a car left running in a closed garage. It’s true that these appliances are commonly found in the home, however there are certain times when carbon monoxide detectors may be useful in a business setting as well.
Does My Business Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Although there are laws that mandate the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in residences, these requirements are not as cut and dried for businesses. Your business may need a carbon monoxide detector if:
- The equipment you use burns fuel
- You operate a warehouse facility
- Your own a hotel or B&B
- Your business has enclosed parking areas on the premise
- Your employees or contractors operate propane powered equipment
If none of these apply to you, you may not need to install carbon monoxide detectors. However, it’s important to make sure your employees and customers are safe. With the Center for Disease Control reporting up to 600 workplace fatalities yearly due to accidental carbon monoxide, it’s a good idea to have your bases covered.
Start by inspecting your business to see if workers are likely to be exposed to carbon monoxide and if so, in what areas of the building this exposure is likely to happen. It may be a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors in these areas.
Carbon monoxide may be likely to leak in areas where forklifts are used or where floor buffing and polishing occurs. Propane or gas powered equipment can also lead to carbon monoxide exposure, even in ventilated areas.
Once you have evaluated your building, you may still be uncertain as to whether carbon monoxide detectors are necessary. The rules and regulations involving the installation of carbon monoxide detectors may vary from state to state so it is best to check with your state or provincial department of labor to see if carbon monoxide detectors are required in your business. They will also be able to let you know what kind of carbon monoxide detectors are needed as well as the best locations within the business to install them.
Carbon monoxide detectors may be a wise investment in protecting your workers if you think there is a risk of exposure. If employees are exposed to carbon monoxide, it can result in fatalities and cause major emotional and financial stress for business owners. Make a wise business choice by considering installing carbon monoxide for the safety of your customers and employees.