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Hazmat: Carbon Dioxide: A Hidden Danger for Firefighters

By Lance Peeples Recently, while conducting prefire planning in my first-due area, I came across a restaurant with a large Dewar of carbon dioxide (CO2) located just outside the rear door. This flask was used to supply the soda fountain machines. In the past, restaurants used small volume pressurized tanks to carbonate their fountain drinks. These small pressurized tanks held little potential to inert the atmosphere in the large areas typically found in a restaurant, but this is not the case with large cryogenic containers such as Dewars. Several recent examples illustrate the danger: In June 2011, a McDonald's restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, was evacuated because of a leaking soda machin...

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