David W. Heldenbrand, Carbon Monoxide Test Expert


David W. Heldenbrand, P.E., is a highly-knowledgeable carbon monoxide expert with years of experience to his name. He has a bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering, as well as a bachelor of arts in environmental biology. He is a licensed professional engineer in five states and a certified fire investigator and has worked for 24 years as a failure analysis and forensic engineering expert. David is currently the president of Bison Engineering Inc, a carbon monoxide testing firm.

How did you get started in carbon monoxide testing?
I went to work with a forensic engineering company in 1985 where I conducted numerous carbon monoxide incident investigations.

What are some preventative measures home and business owners may take in order to avoid a carbon monoxide incident?
Gas appliances should be serviced or inspected annually by a reputable technician to insure good working conditions.

Why is it important to conduct carbon monoxide poisoning testing after an incident involving carbon monoxide has occurred?
It is vital to find the source of carbon monoxide emissions so the source can be removed, repaired or replaced, i.e. a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger.

What degree of education and training is necessary to conduct carbon monoxide testing and who provides it?
A number of years of training and experience are essential in most incidents, as is high-tech equipment that reads in real time through use of sensors that record variables such as temperature (flue, ambient inside and outside), wind velocity, LEL, oxygen, and others to predict trends associated CO gas production. Each sensor recording is sampled at a predetermined frequency and initiated at a true start time to allow accurate computations of outside wind speed over the flue stack and temperatures to evaluate production rates and dispersion anomalies.

When carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, what are the most important pieces of equipment that your experts use in an investigation?
Our Bison-designed testing system is called CO-DAQ (Carbon Monoxide Data Acquisition). Based on a notebook computer with proprietary state-of-the-art data acquisition hardware and software programmed specifically for the carbon monoxide monitoring application, the CO-DAQ’s portability allows on-location testing under many of the original variables. Combustion analyzers are also important.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for people who wish to get a job in the carbon monoxide testing field?
Specialize in forensic engineering, which is available in some schools of engineering. Get a job with a forensic engineering or failure analysis company.

For more information on carbon monoxide tests, please read Tests.com’s Carbon Monoxide Test Guide. To find a carbon monoxide test, please visit the Carbon Monoxide Test Directory.


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