Something that has concerned me for a very long time. Should it be mandatory for all pub cellars to have a Co2 and Nitrogen detectors. We all know how dangerous a Co2 gas leak can be as a Technician I have the buddy system but sometimes it isn’t charged up and it is left in the van. I think everyone at one time or another has had a whiff of Co2 felt shortage of breath etc.
But I am really thinking about the Publican who can now buy these large bottles of Co2 which I think are 56lb, because they take a long time to empty this means you can have quite a substantial gas leak and not notice it.
The scenario I am thinking about would be the tank type cellar with no or hardly any ventilation during the evening a gas leak could develop, Co2 is heavier than air and by morning would fill the whole cellar. As the Publican is about before anyone else, can go into the cellar to check the cask ales. Breathing air with increased concentrations of carbon dioxide gas can lead to effects ranging from heavy breathing and a feeling of suffocation through loss of consciousness to asphyxiation.
This article below brings it all home.
The Age Newspaper, Australia wrote: Man dies in pub cellar after being overcome by gas leak
March 11, 2010
A hotel worker has died after he was overcome by gas in the cellar of a hotel west of Geelong this morning.
The man was taking delivery of beer kegs when he collapsed in the Royal Mail Hotel at Birregurra about 7.10am.
Senior Constable Adam Johnston of Colac Police said the man, in his mid 50s, was gathering up empty kegs in the cellar when he is believed to have knocked a carbon dioxide canister, causing it to leak.
He was deprived of oxygen and collapsed on the floor.
The beer delivery driver found him lying on the ground but was himself overcome with gas and felt light-headed and nauseous.
He left the cellar and called emergency services before he was taken to Colac Hospital in a stable condition.
We’re not entirely sure what it was, Senior Constable Johnston said.
We believe its likely to be something like oxygen displacement from the carbon dioxide that they charge the beer with, but we don’t know that for sure.
˜They have canisters with carbon dioxide to charge the beer to make it fizzy. What may have happened is he may have knocked one of the gas bottles, and the carbon dioxide has come out which has pushed all of the breathable air out of the cellar, leaving it with just carbon dioxide.
Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said fire brigade officers wearing breathing apparatus entered the cellar brought the hotel worker, from Birregurra, to the surface.
Paramedics worked on him for quite some time but were unable to revive him, Mr Mullen said.
A Country Fire Authority spokeswoman said four fire units were called to the scene and contained the leak about 8.30am.
Victoria Police are also at the scene, and WorkSafe has been notified.
The trouble is they are so expensive does any one know where they can buy these things at a reasonable price?