The new requirements in the IFC code came about after several fatal carbon dioxide poisonings occurred in the United States in restaurants where CO2 leaked from large storage containers and displaced oxygen in the area. CO2 is an odorless and colorless gas heavier than air and will fill a room from bottom to top displacing the oxygen, creating a potential life safety hazard to building occupants and emergency responders.
International Fire Code 5307 Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
The 2018 edition of the International Fire Code (IFC) now requires mechanical ventilation or an emergency alarm system when the quantity of CO2 exceeds 100 pounds.
• 5307.3.2 Emergency alarm system
• 5307.3.2 Gas detection system
Where ventilation is not provided in accordance with Section 5307.3.1, a gas detection system shall be provided in rooms or indoor areas and in below-grade outdoor locations with insulated carbon dioxide systems. Carbon dioxide sensors shall be provided within 12 inches (305 mm) of the floor in the area where the gas is expected to accumulate or other approved locations.
The system shall be designed as follows:
1. Activates an audible and visible supervisory alarm at a normally attended location upon detection of a carbon dioxide
concentration of 5,000 ppm (0.5% by vol.).
2. Activates an audible and visible alarm within the room or immediate area where the system is installed upon detection of
a carbon dioxide concentration of 30,000 ppm (3% by vol.).
• Although the 2018 IFC contains new language regarding CO2 systems please check with your local government units of the status of this code in your area.
• For more information on the code please refer to the following: IFC 2018 Code