On May 16, 2020, 11 firefighters were hospitalized after responding to multiple buildings that caught fire after an explosion in downtown Los Angeles. Though officials are still investigating whether hazardous materials were involved, tragic incidents like these could potentially be avoided with the use of Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) detectors.
Depending on what type of business you conduct, an LEL detector will help you be more aware of the buildup of flammable gases, while measuring the amount of gas in the air as a percentage of the total volume using a gas monitor. If the amount of gas in the air surpasses the LEL, the gas could spontaneously combust. Learn more about the types of LEL gas detectors that can keep your workplace safe.
Fixed LEL Gas Detectors
Fixed gas detectors are ideal if you'd like to continuously monitor hazardous environments from a distance and keep track of the gas concentrations present and possible exposure levels. Detecting if a dangerous gas is present and alerting workers prior to occupying the space in advance can avoid any accidents from happening.
There are generally two classes of fixed system monitors: commercial and industrial. Commercial fixed system monitors, such as the Honeywell E3Point Wall Mounted Analog Single Gas Monitor E3SA, are typically standalone units mounted to the wall with a built-in audible alarm, allowing you and your team to quickly respond to a possible exposure incident.
Industrial fixed systems are designed to monitor a range of detector heads simultaneously. The RKI Beacon 800 Eight Channel Fixed System Gas Detection Controller is a good option that allows you to control up to eight points of gas detection where transmitters like the RKI M2A Series Stand Alone Explosion Proof Transmitter can help you monitor your entire work zone from a safe, distant location. All monitor controllers should be installed in a centralized, easily accessible area, so your team can quickly respond to the alarm.
When putting together multi-point systems like these, make sure the components are compatible. Fixed LEL gas detectors need to be hooked to a power source at all times in order to run continuously. Many different industries and businesses depend on fixed system gas monitors, including:
- Marijuana growers
- Computer server farms lead-acid batteries for power backup
- Cryogenic therapy labs with nitrogen displacing air
- Breweries and wineries concerned with CO2 and lack of oxygen
- Chicken coops/hog farms concerned with ammonia and methane
- Parking garages dealing with carbon monoxide
- Refineries on the lookout for flammable or explosive gases
Portable LEL Gas Detectors
Trace amounts of some gases may be in the air around your worksite without you realizing it, so you should consider using portable LEL gas detectors whenever possible. Program the monitor so that the alarm will go off before the target gas reaches the LEL to reduce your risk.
Think about your application and budget when deciding on a portable gas monitor. For most general contracting and compliance needs, any of our 4 Gas detectors (pumped or diffusion) like our BW’s GasAlertMax XT II or RKI’s GX-3R are good options. If you work with varying combustibles, the RKI Instruments 03 Series LEL Single Gas Monitor can log data from 5 to 300 hours with adjustable intervals. More specialized gas monitors like RKI’s GX2012 will allow for more advanced tasks such as leak investigation (in PPM Levels) or purge testing (0-100% Vol).
We've answered the most common questions about LEL gases in the blow post below. But if you're still unsure which type of LEL gas detector is the best fit for your business, give us a call at 800-829-9580 to speak with our product safety experts.