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Self-calibrating CO2 detectors gamble with safety

Date: 15. august 2019
Maintenance-free safety equipment is an illusion
CO2 detectors are safety equipment whose reliability depends on regular maintenance. However, a new phenomenon has emerged where manufacturers advertise with self-calibrating detectors. An unfortunate trend, which gambles with the users’ safety.
With a CO2 detector mounted in your cold room, you ensure an automatic and continuous check that the CO2 level does not exceed a health-damaging level and any leakage in the refrigeration system is detected in time. However, the reliability of a CO2 detector requires regularly test and calibration. According to DS/EN 378-3: 2016, this must be done at least once a year.
"The user/owner or their authorized representative must regularly check the alarms, mechanical ventilation and detectors at least once a year to ensure that they are functioning properly," says Christian Møller, Director of Geopal System A/S.
Geopal System develops and manufactures alarm systems for detection of gases, vapors, carbon monoxide, oxygen and carbon dioxide for industrial use. Furthermore, they perform service and repairs mainly on their own products.
 
Self-calibrating CO2 detectors gamble with safety
Particularly in recent years, some manufacturers market maintenance-free CO2 detectors with a calibration frequency of up to 15 years. The detectors incorporate a self-calibration function where the detector makes a self-calibration once a week based on the lowest measured value. In this way, the customer ensures that the CO2 level is always adapted to the environment in which it is located, which sounds immediately alluring. But according to Christian Møller, maintenance-free detectors create an illusion that poses a safety risk to the user.
“When the detector calibrates itself on the basis of the CO2 level in the room, even if it is the lowest level, there is a risk that the level will rise continuously over a given period - not to mention a number of years. This will occur if e.g. there is a minor leak and the CO2 plant is leaking over a given period. Therefore, it is important that the detector is calibrated at least once a year using test gas that has the same concentration as the alarm limits, so that you can rely on the safety equipment”, explains Christian Møller.
 
Geopal System A/S is known for the high quality of their products. Most recently, they have developed a highly competitive low-cost CO2 detector, which is a safety solution for cold and frost rooms.
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Geopal System A/S | Skelstedet 10B | DK-2950 Vedbæk | Tlf: +45 45 67 06 00| E-mail: info@geopal.dk