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RKI Portable

RKI Instruments makes a range of portable gas detectors that are used to detect hazardous gases in the workplace. These devices are lightweight and durable enough to work in various conditions, including confined spaces, manholes, utility tunnels, and basements. Workers should easily wear these devices when occupying spaces that may contain hazardous gases or are potentially deficient in oxygen. They are the preferred choice when working on location. The monitor will set off an alarm when gas surpasses the designated exposure threshold, so workers can evacuate the space or wear specialized gear to prevent exposure. Any amount of exposure to toxic gases is considered dangerous and may result in injury and death. Use portable gas monitors to keep your team safe in every situation.

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RKI GX-3R 4 Gas Confined Space Monitor 72-RA-C

$595.00
$476.00

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RKI GX-6000 PID Gas Monitor - Super Toxics 6 Gas Monitor 72-6AB


$3,045.00

How does a portable gas detector work?

Gas detectors are designed to calculate the concentration of hazardous gases in the air, or the lack of oxygen. They are used to prevent exposure to these gases, which can lead to asphyxiation, injury, and death. High concentrations of flammable cases can also spontaneously combust in the workplace, leading to flash fires. Portable gas detectors typically worn on the person’s collar or jacket, so they can move around the worksite freely. Advances in design have made it possible for some portable RKI gas detectors to be on the wrist or attached to a bag with an alligator clip.

Portable gas detectors come with sensors that will trigger an alarm when these gases surpass a pre-set threshold. Most detectors use electrochemical sensors that oxidize the target gas by creating a chemical reaction using the water molecules in the air. The reaction of this current is then measured to determine the level of toxic gas in the air. Once the gas passes the threshold, the device will produce an audible, flashing, or vibrating alarm, so workers can evacuate the area as quickly as possible.

Single-gas monitors detect just one target gas, while multi-gas monitors usually target four main gases, including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), oxygen (O2), and methane, as well as the percentage of the lower explosive limit (LEL). 

Where do you wear your gas monitor?

Workers should wear the portable gas monitor in what’s known as the breathing zone, an area near their nose and mouth, so the monitor takes in air similar to the air that the person is breathing. Many workers will clip the monitor to their collar, lapel, or bag to keep it in the proper position. 

Some hazardous gases rise or sink in the air depending on density. For example, methane is lighter than air and will rise relative to the surrounding air. Concentrations will be higher at elevated surfaces. Workers should keep the device secure on their person to ensure that the device is producing accurate results. 

How do I know if my gas detector is working?

Workers should always inspect their portable gas monitors before using them in the field. They should visually inspect the device for damage and make sure that it turns on. The battery should be fully charged and have enough power to last the duration of the person’s shift. 

It’s also important to bump test the gas monitor before every shift. A bump test is used to ensure the device is working and that the alarm will go off if the device detects a targeted concentration of toxic gas. During the bump test, the worker will expose the device to the target gas by inserting a cylinder of test gas. The gas should then trigger the alarm, so the worker knows that the device will work properly in the field. If the bump test fails, the monitor will need to be calibrated. We recommend calibrating your gas monitors at least every 6 months.

How do you test a gas sensor?

Bump tests ensure your device is working properly, but they don’t test the accuracy of portable gas detectors. Workers should also perform a calibration test to ensure their equipment will produce accurate results. 

To perform a calibration test, start by zeroing the device. This is done in an area of clean fresh air, or using a cylinder of so-called ‘zero air’. Using the correct regulator, attach the gas cylinder to the gas monitor, exposing  the sensors to the target gas. The device should then produce a reading of how much gas is in the air. Compare the reading on the monitor to how much gas is listed on the cylinder. The readings should be the same for both. If the reading is off, the worker will need to recalibrate the device to reset the sensors. Make sure that the cylinder hasn’t expired as the ratios of gas will change over time.

Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working conditions for their employees. Gas leaks can happen at a moment’s notice. Workers should know how to use and test this equipment before working in potentially dangerous situations. Simply testing for hazardous gases may not be enough to prevent injury and death. Teams should also do their best to eliminate or reduce the hazard before occupying the space. 

Portable gas monitors are the best choice for crews that work in unpredictable settings. Your team can wear these devices on their person at all times to protect themselves on the job. Contact the professionals at PK Safety to find the right portable gas monitor for the job at hand.  If your RKI portable gas detectors need calibration or a diagnosis for a potential repair, PK Safety can help with our gas detector calibration and repair services. Our staff is trained by RKI and we are a Factory Authorized Service Center for RKI Instruments.