Journal of Environment and Safety
Online ISSN : 2186-3725
Print ISSN : 1884-4375
ISSN-L : 1884-4375
Short Communication
Measurement of indoor carbon dioxide concentrations when using a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher in a room
Kengo Tomita Takaaki HaradaTaiji MishinaRumiko Hayashi
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2022 Volume 13 Issue 3 Pages 57-62


Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are effective against small fires and fires from electrical equipment, however, the danger of carbon dioxide poisoning must be kept in mind especially when the fire extinguishers are used indoors. In this study, we measured concentrations of carbon dioxide and their changes over time with carbon dioxide monitors (measurable range of 0 to 9,999 ppm) when using a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher indoors. The concentration at a height of 50 cm from the floor exceeded 10,000 ppm approximately 20 seconds after discharge of the extinguisher. When the window was open for ventilation, it exceeded 10,000 ppm for about 40 seconds then decreased rapidly. In contrast, when the window was closed, it exceeded 10,000 ppm for more than 200 seconds, and the subsequent decrease in concentration was gradual. For the concentration exceeding 10,000 ppm, the maximum concentrations were estimated using exponential curves. It was estimated to be approximately 20,000 ppm and 40,000 ppm when the window was open and closed, respectively. Concentrations at a height of 150 cm from the floor were up to 4,000 ppm regardless of whether the window was open or closed. In general, headaches and dizziness occur when the carbon dioxide concentration exceeds 30,000 ppm, and unconsciousness occurs when the concentration exceeds 100,000 ppm. Our results suggest that the carbon dioxide concentration near the floor is relatively high and there is a risk of poisoning, but it is not too high to immediately lose consciousness. It should be avoided to directly discharge a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to the face, but our results indicate that it is considered safe to use it if there is ventilation such as by opening windows and if it is not used in an extremely narrow space.

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© 2022 Academic Consociation of Environmental Safety and Waste Management,Japan
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