Inside a cold storage or cold room, the FDA requires the temperature to drop to – 0°F s/d -10°F (-17°C s/d -23°C). This temperature is enough to freeze the human body in a matter of hours. Cold rooms are commonly likened with a giant box where every sides of it are made out of materials that are so strong that it cannot be taken apart with manpower alone. So what happens when a person is locked inside this box?
Hypothermia is usually the first thing that comes to mind to most people, and it is something to be wary for when locked inside a cold room. The normal temperature of the human body is around 36°C. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drastically drops. A person’s body temperature experiencing mild hypothermia may drop to temperatures of 32°C – 23°C, and severe hypothermia occurs when it reaches to temperatures of 20°C – 12°C. Symptoms of fatigue and confusion will occur, breathing will become slower and the hands will numb. Hypothermia may also cause heart attacks that may be fatal.
When locked inside the cold storage the body will gradually lose its body heat. Usually the human body will react with cold temperatures by producing body heat. The human body will also produce heat when breathing and sweating. Losing body heat may be fatal, it may lead to frostbite. Frostbite is a condition where the body breaks apart from the cold temperatures.
Another thing to be wary of when locked inside a cold storage / cold room is carbon dioxide poisoning. Everytime you breathe, the body will absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide, when done in an isolated chamber like the cold storage / cold room carbon dioxide will build up. When carbon dioxide concentration raises above five percent it can be fatal, as the impact of an carbon dioxide poisoning is worse than oxygen deficiency. The body will experience symptoms of confusion, fatigue, and disorientation. An excess amount of carbon dioxide in the blood may also lead to death.
So what should you do if you were trapped inside a cold storage / cold room?
The PVC (polyvinyl chloride) curtains can protect the body from cold temperatures. Take of the PVC curtains from its mounts and wrap it around the body as a blanket to insulate your body heat for the time being.
In a cold storage / cold room, the door is the only way out. When you are locked in you will be inside the cold storage / cold room until the door is opened. Because of that alarms and emergency release is a must in all cold storages / cold rooms.