FYI… there are NOW two distinct Florida Statues that may require your facility to use a combination Gas (LP or Natural) and Carbon Monoxide Detector Devices on all heaters mounted indoors. The regulations include Chapter 553: Building Construction Standards, and Chapter 509: Safety Regulations for Lodging, etc.
Why is Carbon Monoxide (CO) an issue? It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is very difficult to detect. It is a byproduct of gas heaters, barbecues, and other fossil fuel-burning devices. CO poisoning with exposure as little as 1.28% can make an operator pass out within a few breaths (in the equipment room?), and can kill a person within 2 minutes according to CDC and industry sources. Pool heaters that have not been (properly) serviced or improperly vented heater vent lines can greatly increase the risk of exposure, and the CDC recommends that heaters be serviced annually to help prevent exposure.
Per the regulations… according to Section 553.885 of the 2021 Florida statues…in summary…, every building or addition constructed on or after July 1, 2008 and having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance must have an approved and operational carbon monoxide sensor alarm installed. Section 553 statute here.
Also, according to Section 509.211… in summary, … every room that contains a boiler regulated by Chapter 554 which is fired by…the direct combustion of fuel, and that is located in any portion of a lodging establishment that also contains sleeping rooms shall be equipped with one or more carbon monoxide detector devices. Section 509 statute here. Did you catch that – sleeping rooms? Some folks will argue otherwise, but it looks like this statute is geared toward hotels, motels, apartments, condominiums, etc., and not so much municipal pools, water parks, swim schools, and condo clubhouses. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
Luckily, the solution to Carbon Monoxide detector devices is quite simple. Compliance with these statutes require the installation of a CES-provided CO detector device (hard-wired or battery-powered) that complies with ANSI/UL 2075 “Standard for Gas and Vapor Detectors and Sensors”… so the hardware store model is not going to work.
The unit needs to be installed 5’ off the ground, within 6’ of the heater, and within 4’ of any draft zones (windows, doorways, or A/C units). In some facilities (hospitals, nursing home, or inpatient facility), you will need to connect to the fire alarm system, and maybe even install a door-mounted remote gas kill switch (to manually shut down the gas flow). But, for most facilities, the Carbon Monoxide detector will need to only connect to the gas heater, and to shut it down in the event of a carbon monoxide leak.
Now, back to the “sleeping unit’ discussion. The installation of CO detector devices are considered best practice for any indoor-mounted gas heating device and, as such, many are recommending their installation regardless of whether there are “sleeping units” in the building or not. We agree with folks that are looking at CO detector devices to protect maintenance staff, sub-contractors and managers that might walk into the equipment room and unknowingly find themselves in a very serious situation.
CES can help provide a solution to your potential Carbon Monoxide issues. We can provide the CDC-recommended annual heater preventive maintenance tune up, and can provide, install, and properly integrate the CO detector device into your gas heater. We will also work with your MEP and maintenance staff to integrate with kill switches, building management systems, etc. if desired, or if required of the statutes.
Please contact your CES rep for more information on this important code-required safety upgrade for your facility, and let us know if you need more information or would like a site audit to work toward compliance.