How to Test CO2 Storage Safety Alarms

co2 safety alarm

It’s easy to test a CO2 Storage Safety Alarm used in restaurants, breweries or anywhere bulk carbon dioxide is stored.

Here are your options:

  1. Blow on it. Fresh air contains about 400 parts-per-million (0.04%) carbon dioxide. Indoor air in an enclosed room typically contains 800 – 1,200 parts-per million (0.08-0.12%). However, exhaled breath contains between 40-50,000 ppm (4-5%) carbon dioxide. Because our CO2 Storage Safety Alarm is designed to sound an alarm at 5,000 ppm, 15,000 ppm and 30,000 ppm you should be able to set off all three alarms using the CO2 from your breath alone.
  2. Buy a can of CO2. Cans of carbon dioxide used to refill paintball gun tanks are available for $3-5 online or at any sporting goods store.
    To set off the alarm, simply get on your hands and knees (the sensor unit should be mounted 18-24 inches off the floor) and start blowing CO2 into the hole in the upper left corner. After a few seconds you should see the CO2 level on the display rise, and at 1.5% CO2 you should hear your first alarm.
  3. Self-calibration. You will need a gas cylinder of pure nitrogen (0% CO2) that can be purchased from Follow the calibration steps as described in the manual.
  4. Factory calibration. You can send the CO2 Safety Meter to for professional calibration with a certificate. To contact them for calibration, call 877-678-4259.

Testing Tips

• Don’t set off the alarm if you have customers in the building.

• Temporarily cover the buzzer hole on the bottom left-hand corner of the SEU (Main unit) and bottom right-hand corner on the RDU (remote display unit) with a small piece of masking tape to minimize the alarm sound. Make sure to take the tape off after testing the alarm.

• Let your fellow employees know you’ll be setting off the alarm.

• It will go much faster if you use a straw held against the hole when blowing.

• The 5,000 ppm OSHA alarm measures the time weighted average CO2 level over an 8 hour work day. This means that if you want to test the OSHA alarm you’ll need to unplug the unit, then plug it back in again to reset the 8 hour timer.

• Once you’ve set off the 1.5% CO2 alarm, if you quit blowing, the CO2 level will drop below 1.5% and the alarm will stop.

• After you set off the 3% CO2 alarm, it will continue even after the CO2 level drops below 3%. You will need to unplug the alarm to reset it to normal mode.

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