Recommended Distances from Recharging Stations for Siting Carbon Monoxide Detection

Carbon monoxide detectors/alarms are cross sensitive to hydrogen, an explosive gas that can be given off by recharging lead acid batteries. Where households or public/private structures include recharging stations (e.g., for golf carts or electric cars), there is the possibility that a carbon monoxide alerting signal may be triggered inadvertently. The problems are two-fold. First, an increase in nuisance/false alarms and second, the existence of a potentially hazardous hydrogen gas situation when the occupant or first responders respond, thinking they are facing a carbon monoxide emergency.

NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Warning Equipment, seeks to add information to the code to address this issue, preferably by giving guidance on recommended installation distances of the initiating device from a recharging station. However, the Technical Committee has no information on a proper distance.

Research Goal: The objective of this research is to provide information to the NPFA 720 Technical Committee that may serve as the technical basis for guidance on installation distances for CO initiating devices from recharging stations.

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