Installing CO monitors is one of the most important measures a building manager can take to ensure their occupants’ safety. However, if you don’t make sure that your detectors are functioning properly to protect the people inside your parkade, you might as well not have any. This is when bump testing becomes relevant.
Bump testing is the way to ensure gas monitors are working properly. It’s a quick and simple process that will give you the peace of mind that you and your occupants are in a safe environment. If regular bump testing your monitors is not a part of your health and safety plan, here’s everything you need to know about how this test works, and how it can help you keep your building safe.
A bump test (also known as a functional test, or function check) is a process in which any gas monitor is exposed to gas concentration levels similar to the alarm levels set on the monitor.
In a nutshell, if the monitor is working properly, it will trigger the audible and visual alarms; otherwise, you know you need to troubleshoot to find the cause of the malfunction. Most of the time you’ll have to do a full calibration, and if the monitor fails the calibration, you must replace it immediately.
You should do the first bump test as soon as a monitor is installed. After the initial test, OSHA recommends simply following the manufacturer’s guidelines on the matter; but in reality, this will depend on the type of facility the monitors are working on.
Unfortunately, OSHA recommendations are mostly oriented towards workers’ safety; and since parkades are facilities used mostly by casual visitors and residents, building managers need to raise their safety standards higher than OSHA’s bare minimum to ensure vulnerable people with health conditions are safe as well.
We at Gasonic recommend that managers perform bump tests in all CO monitors at least once a month, or more frequently if the manufacturer recommends it.
This process is very straightforward: you just need to expose the monitor to a small amount of gas using a bump test gas cylinder, and wait a few seconds for the alarm to be triggered. On average, a bump test lasts between 15 to 20 seconds per monitor.
CO monitors installed in parkades are constantly exposed to high temperatures, humidity, dust and even splashes of water or cleaning products. Any of these factors can affect the performance of the monitors by blocking or clogging their sensors and filters, resulting in their alarms not going off in the event of a CO level increase that can lead to a serious incident where the health of the occupants is at risk.
It’s better that a specialist in hazardous gases and indoor air pollution takes care not only of bump testing, but of performing the calibration and general inspection of your monitors.
Many managers tend to trust these tasks to their mechanical contractor hoping to save money, but this leaves them vulnerable to incidents and open to subsequent liability that can cost them much more.
No. Although bump testing is a key component of monitors’ maintenance, this process doesn’t check for accuracy. To check for accuracy, you need to calibrate the monitors.
Bump testing is a process that takes seconds, but that will go a long way towards your building’s safety. Adding them to your health and safety plan gives you the certainty that your monitors will be protecting your occupants when they need them most, and protects you from potential liability.
If you need help with your monitors’ maintenance, contact us to receive support from our seasoned technicians.
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