In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many grocery stores have or are changing their refrigeration systems to a CO2 system. Some of the benefits of doing so are increased energy efficiency, safety, and cost. However, it is important that all locations are trained how to address any potential risks associated with the new systems.

There have been increased issues with pressure relief valves on the CO2 systems. A damaged or faulty pressure relief valve can cause your system to go down, resulting in loss of refrigeration and subsequent loss of stock due to spoilage. As with all systems, regular maintenance plays a key role in ensuring that any potential problems can be identified and resolved before any major breakdowns occur.

The following loss prevention tips should be followed:

  • Establish a preventative maintenance program with a mechanical contractor who is familiar with CO2 refrigeration systems.
  • Establish a contract with a CO2 provider who will be able to provide additional CO2 cylinders in a quick manner.
  • Keep extra CO2 cylinders on hand. Regulations allow for up to 1/3 of the operating requirements to be kept on hand – approximately 20 cylinders.
  • Extra CO2 cylinders should be stored in an area where they will not become damaged.
  • Extra CO2 cylinders must be chained against a wall.
  • Do not apply a flame or heat source directly to cylinders.
  • Do not use excessive force when handing pressure relief valves. Screw drivers or other sharp objects should not be used to try and unblock pressure relief valves.
  • Proper ventilation systems should be installed in areas where CO2 systems are being used.
  • CO2 detectors should be installed in areas where leakage is possible.
  • Pressure relief valves should be inspected regularly to ensure proper operations. Make arrangements with your maintenance provider to ensure quick access to a replacement pressure relief valve in case it needs to be replaced.

For more information on how to manage the risks associated with CO2 Refrigeration Systems, please contact one of our risk management professionals. While risk management strategies can reduce your chances for loss, in the event of a loss it is important to ensure your business has the right level of insurance coverage. Visit our Commercial Insurance page to learn how we can help protect your business.

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