Monitoring your surroundings for hazardous gases is an important part of workplace safety. Many gases, including carbon monoxide, can be difficult to detect without gas detection equipment. You can’t see, smell, or taste these gases, so you will need to use a gas detector to make sure you and your team have access to clean air on the job. The gas monitor will alert you and your team if hazardous gases are present in the air. You can then either evacuate the area immediately or use respirators to protect yourselves from exposure.
We sell a range of gas detectors right here at PK Safety, including multi- and single-gas detectors. Our in-house technicians are factory certified to repair, calibrate, and configure monitors to your exact specifications for confined spaces, spot leak testing and mobile use. Learn more about gas leak detection, so you can protect your team on the job.
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What Is Gas Detection?
Gas detection is the idea of monitoring your workplace or surroundings for hazardous gases, such as:
- Carbon monoxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
- And overall oxygen levels
Exposure to these gases could lead to severe illness or even death. By monitoring your workplace, you and your employees don’t have to worry about breathing in harmful chemicals and gases. If the air quality changes, the gas detector will send out an alert, so you can respond immediately.
How Are Gas Detectors Used?
Gas detectors are often used by:
- First responders
- Utility crews
- Maintenance professionals
- Other individuals that may come into contact with hazardous gases
- Loading dock
- Parking structure
- Manufacturing facility
- Crawl spaces
- And other confined spaces
This equipment can either be worn on your person in what’s known as “the breathing zone,” near your nose and mouth, or you can set up a monitor in the corner of the room to make sure the air is safe to breathe. When wearing a gas detector, keep it near your nose and mouth to make sure you record the most accurate levels.
In addition to safeguarding your employees, you can also use gas detection systems to log the overall safety of your workplace over time. Keep a record of all gas leaks and other possible workplace hazards, so you can address these issues as soon as possible and prevent them from happening again in the future.
What Is the Best Gas Detector?
There are many different gas monitors for you to choose from. You need to use a gas monitor that’s designed to detect your target gas. Use a multi-gas detector to protect yourself from multiple gases at once.
It may be difficult to see or hear on the job, so it’s best to find a gas detector that comes with multiple alarm settings. Ideally, the alarm will vibrate, flash a light, and emit an audible tone when hazardous gases are present, so your team can quickly keep track of oxygen levels without having to zero in on specific readings.
Having a gas monitor that’s connected to the internet will improve the overall safety of your workplace as well. If a leak occurs, the monitor should alert the person wearing the device as well as those monitoring your workplace from afar. The safety manager can then share this information with other team members, thus limiting their chances of exposure.
How Many Types of Gas Detectors Are There?
Gas detectors may only be used to detect one type of gas, while others can detect up to four at a time.
We carry a range of monitors from some of the best and most trusted brands in the industry, including:
- RKI Instruments
- BW Honeywell
- RAE Systems
These companies have a long history of keeping hardworking professionals safe on the job, so you can enjoy more peace of mind on the job.
You will also have to choose between fixed gas detectors and those that you wear on your person. Fixed detectors usually go in central, high-traffic locations. They will monitor your workplace continuously. These are a great choice if your team tends to work in the same environment day after day. Portable monitors are perfect for those that often work on the go, including first responders and repair crews.
How Do You Recalibrate a Gas Detector?
Recalibrating your gas monitor means exposing it to the target gas. You will need to use a cylinder of your target gas. Make sure it has not yet expired. Start by zeroing the gas detector and then insert the calibration gas into the device. The device should respond to the calibration gas as if there were a gas leak. Make sure the readings on the device match the contents of the calibration gas.
How Do Gas Detectors Work?
Gas detectors generally use either a catalytic bead or a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor.
Combustible gas mixtures start burning when they reach their ignition temperature. Gas monitors with catalytic bead sensors come with metal oxides that speed up the oxidation process, so these monitors can detect and report the presence of hazards gases as soon as possible. These monitors are not gas specific and are seen as highly reliable.
Detectors that use non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensors will detect the gas molecules’ absorption of infrared energy by the bonds of dissimilar atoms. Non-dispersive IR sensors measure gases at a specific range of wavelengths associated with a particular gas.
When these devices detect hazardous gases, the sensor output will display a reading of the specific gas, including the level of exposure.
What Are the Differences Between Gas Detectors and Gas Monitors?
Gas detectors are typically installed throughout a building and are connected to a larger alarm system. They are designed to evacuate large spaces when hazardous gases are present.
Gas monitors are much more portable and hands free than gas detectors. Individual workers will typically wear monitors on their person as they move from one environment to another.