Saving Energy Creates Safety Hazard

There are occasions during my inspections of underground parking decks where the exhaust fans were not on. Some fans broke down and were never fixed. Many others worked, but were turned off on purpose. When I asked the Building Manager, I got the same response, “we turned the fans off to save electricity”. On some buildings, the fans were never on. On some others, a timer was installed so that the fans would go on a couple hours a day. Well, that’s not much better in resolving the problem. What problem you may ask since electricity is being saved. The problem is that these exhaust fans on below grade parking decks are required to be on all the time.

These fans are needed to remove the exhaust fumes caused by the vehicles using the parking deck. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes remain in the parking area if not removed through the mechanical exhaust fans. So make sure the fans are on and breathe easier.