Since lockdown has eased, identifying poorly ventilated areas in your rehearsal or performance space has become a key part of assessing Covid risk. Monitoring carbon dioxide levels is a vital part of this. Our Corporate Supporter, test-meter, are experts in the field and are offering our members advice and a discount on a carbon dioxide monitor to help.
Identifying poorly ventilated areas
As society opens up after lockdown, government ministers have recommended that organisers should identify poorly ventilated spaces when risk assessing a space, in a bid to help prevent further outbreaks of Covid. Previous Government advice stressing the importance of face-coverings and social distancing has now been amended so that ventilation is now a priority. Developments in the scientific understanding of how the virus spreads - mainly through aerosol transmission - has prompted these changes.
Quantifying carbon dioxide levels
The most effective way of identifying a poorly-ventilated area is to measure the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) present. People exhale CO2 when they breathe out, and if there is a build-up of CO2 in an area, it could mean that ventilation needs improving. Fortunately, determining the CO2 level in an area is very simple. You can use a CO2 monitor, which displays CO2 levels in parts per million (abbreviated as ppm).
Well ventilated or not?
Current Government guidance advises that indoor CO2 levels of up to 800ppm is ‘well ventilated’, whereas a level of 1500ppm should be a warning to ‘take action to improve ventilation’.
However, where there is continuous talking or singing, or high levels of physical activity (such as dancing, playing sport or exercising), the recommendation is to provide ventilation that is sufficient to keep CO2 levels below 800ppm.
Find our more about ventilation in our Covid risk assessment guidance.
Using a CO2 monitor
You should take the following steps when using a CO2 monitor.
- Locate the monitor at head height and away from windows, doors, or air supply openings.
- Allow the device to stabilise before monitoring (this usually takes a few minutes).
- Record CO2 readings, number of occupants, the type of ventilation you’re using at the time and the date. These numbers will help you use the CO2 records to decide if an area is poorly ventilated.
- Consider more than one monitor for spaces over 320 square meters in size.
Test Meter Group Ltd is offering members of Making Music a discount when purchasing the SA1200P CO2 Monitor while stocks last.
The Full price is £89+VAT but with the Making Music member discount it will cost £75+VAT.
This monitor satisfies HSE guidance by featuring an NDIR sensor for maintenance-free, accurate measurements, and by being CE marked. Moreover, it provides clear visual and audible alarms when dangerous levels of CO2 have been measured, in addition to displaying historic CO2 values clearly on the display chart.
Call test-meter on 0113 248 99 66 quoting ‘Singing Safely’ to get the SA1200P for £75+VAT (P&P £4.95+VAT).
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.