Portable gas detection: an important element of personal safety
Jun 20 2023
What is portable gas detection?
Portable gas detectors are an essential part of personal safety equipment which measure the concentration of gases in your immediate surroundings. Whether you need to detect several different gases simultaneously or monitor one specific gas you know to be present, a portable gas detector will warn you of dangerous concentrations. Their visual and acoustic alarms will trigger before a critical concentration of gas is reached, ensuring that your team will be able to leave the area before any harm is caused and appropriate safety measures can be initiated.
Gas detectors use different sensor technologies, such as catalytic combustion, infrared, photoionization detection or thermal conductivity, to monitor each gas very precisely. The configuration of sensors determines which gases your portable gas detector is able to detect.
Where are portable gas detectors used?
As opposed to fixed gas detection systems, which are mainly used in industrial and commercial production plants, portable gas detectors are used in potentially dangerous areas that are not accessed regularly. These situations occur throughout many different industries, including firefighting, mining, steel manufacturing or different municipal service sectors. Anytime a team – or especially a lone worker – is required to enter an area where one or more combustible or toxic gases may be present, a portable gas detector is essential in ensuring their safety. Gas detectors can also monitor the oxygen concentration in applications where displacement of oxygen may be a problem or in very confined, non-ventilated spaces.
Which portable gas detector is right for my team?
There are several elements to be considered when choosing a portable gas detector. How many gases - and which ones - you have to monitor will decide which sensors your device needs to be equipped with. The battery life and power of the detectors come into play when considering the time you will have to continuously use the detectors without a way to charge them. Some portable gas detectors also come with properties or special features which are especially useful in certain environments or industries (i.e. telescopic rod attachments, intrinsic safety or flameproof housings). If your area of application is an Ex zone you will of course need a device which is certified for use in this particular Ex level.
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