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We’re proud to have created such a strong partnership with one of the most trusted brands in gas detection. RKI Instruments has been in the business since 1994, providing customers and distributors, like us, with gas detection equipment, sensor technologies, and complete gas detection solutions for specific gas monitoring applications. Gas detection equipment is part of any confined space kit, and workers in firefighting, utilities, biogas monitoring, marine oil, LACT and other industries rely on the protection of RKI products daily.
Multi-gas monitors that can detect and monitor six gases simultaneously can often be configured or customized for different gases, depending on the application that you’re purchasing your monitor for. Six-gas monitors can detect a combination of combustibles, including Lower Explosive Limits (LELs), oxygen (O2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), ammonia (NH3) and chlorine (Cl2). When you order your gas detection monitors from PK Safety, you can have the mix of sensors customized, and even custom calibration levels to make sure that your RKI gas monitors are perfectly suited to what you’re doing at work.
You should be using a gas monitor whenever you’re inspecting, working and/or assessing at a job site where the atmosphere could potentially be hazardous. Gas detection is necessary for many tasks because it’s a really bad idea to go into a situation where breathing or even some work activities can be dangerous. The gases that monitors detect can be toxic or volatile, which can make any situation extremely dangerous, potentially damaging property, and injuring, sickening or killing workers. However, many of these gases are also invisible (odorless, colorless, and tasteless) to human senses, which means walking into a dangerous situation without realizing it is a very real hazard.
High-quality portable gas detectors can be easy to use and convenient to wear. They can easily be worn on a lapel or collar, or carried within a worker’s “breathing zone,” the area that OSHA defines as being within ten inches from nose and mouth. Look for models that are resistant to water, dust and radio frequencies, and which have display screens that are easy to view and interpret, very clear alarms (ideally visual, vibration and audible), and have simple controls that can be used even while wearing thick gloves or trying to evacuate in an emergency.
For indoor work environments that have environmental hazards such as iron and steel plants, labs, boiler rooms, garages and other vehicle service-related areas, shipping or receiving docks, and other locations—you will probably need a more permanent fixture. RKI fixed gas detectors are ideal for this situation: you simply mount it to the wall, plug it in, and keep an eye and ear out for any alerts to gases that you couldn’t detect otherwise.
Beyond the smaller number of gases detected, 4-gas detectors will have similar options to thesemulti-gas monitors. You can choose from versions that offer a combination of gas sensors, including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), oxygen (O2), carbon monoxide with oxygen (CO/O2), or hydrogen compensated carbon monoxide. Customizing your gas sensors as well as your calibration levels are options that our in-house RKI technicians can tell you more about.
OSHA requires that you measure oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and the LELs for many combustible gases. Having the ability to monitor for most or all of those things in a single tool makes everyone’s job easier, safer and more compliant. Just make sure that you have everything you need for calibrating it—the appropriate calibration gas, demand flow regulator, case and tubing are all needed, and you can get charging docks that store data and allow the monitors to calibrate automatically. A safety tool that’s inconvenient to use isn’t going to do its job of keeping anyone safe, after all, so RKI Instruments are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.
The Lower Explosive Limit or level (LEL) of a gas is the lowest concentration of a flammable gas or vapor that can burn in the air. Gases that are at the appropriate concentration (by percentage) are able to produce a flash of fire in the presence of an ignition source, which can include arcs, flames, heat, and sparks. A big enough reaction can create an explosion that could seriously injure workers and damage equipment. Care should be taken to ensure that there’s a low chance of igniting the worksite, and this care includes monitoring for these gases so you know what steps to take to mitigate that risk.
Typically, first alarms monitoring for LELs are set to 10% as specified in OSHA’s mandates about flammable gas detection and safety, which means 10% of the gas necessary to cause an explosion. A concentration at 0% indicates an atmosphere that’s free of combustible gases; a concentration measured at 100% indicates that the gas is at its LEL.
Remember that fires can be prevented or extinguished by removing the heat, fuel or oxidizing agent from the equation. Shutting off gas sources or turning on ventilation fans can help prevent gases from reaching potentially flammable levels. And, of course, if a fire breaks out, we want you to evacuate as quickly and safely as possible—your life is the most important tool in your kit, and we’re in the business of making sure that workers everywhere stay as safe as possible, even in dangerous workplaces.