Toxic or noxious gases are gases that are harmful to living things. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a highly reactive gas formed by the emissions from for example motor vehicles and industrial activities. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and highly poisonous gas. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘silent killer’. It is produced when a combustion appliance (boiler, heater, oven, ….) does not completely burn a carbon-based fuel (like gas, oil, coal, wood, …).
Both gases occur in parking garages when combustion engines are used like in diesel and petrol vehicles. Shopping malls, office buildings, large hotels, event venues… Car parks have become increasingly important in large building projects. Apart from carparks, other typical applications where these gases occur are restaurant kitchens using gas cookers, science laboratories of all kinds – from schools to professional lab testing, residences, spaces filled with cigarette smoke, automotive manufacturing factories, offices and chemical plants with large furnaces.
When CO is breathed in, it gets into the blood stream, attaching itself to red blood cells, which can then no longer carry oxygen. We humans need oxygen to break down food in order to get the energy we need to survive, to move our muscles or even to just think. Symptoms of CO poisoning are headaches, drowsiness, visual problems, breathlessness, nausea and even stomach and chest pains.
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide have a significant impact on human and environmental health, most notably when it comes to respiratory and cardiovascular health. Long-term exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause chronic lung disease.
As a hazardous atmosphere can easily arise, gas detection and efficient ventilation are necessary.
In order to reduce extensive indoor exposure to those poisonous gases a few measures need to be taken into account. Make sure gas appliances are properly installed and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves. Always use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters. When you need to replace your space heater, choose a vented one over an unvented one. Open flues when fireplace or wood burning stoves are in use. Do not idle or run vehicles within the garage, especially in an attached garage. Doors from attached garages will allow pollutants into the home. Avoid smoking tobacco or at least smoking tobacco indoors where it may linger afterwards.
Since CO for example is an odourless gas, it is an essential requirement of the safety system for an underground parking or garage that hazardous gases are monitored and ventilated.
Sentera Controls developed sensors specifically for the detection of gas, whether in a car park, industrial building or in your home, whether for use indoors or outdoors. The sensors measure CO, NO2 and LPG, next to the standard temperature and relative humidity. When choosing an intelligent sensor you can even directly control the EC fan whose task it is to remove the polluted air from the room or space.