Portable gas detectors play a vital role in industry and research by protecting personnel from unpredictable gas hazards as they move from place to place. In this article, we’re looking at why portable gas detectors are often an essential part of any gas detection strategy.
The Importance of Gas Detection
Asphyxiating, toxic, VOC or explosive – gas hazards exist in virtually all industries and can take many different forms. In chemical factories, wastewater treatment plants and a multitude of other industrial and research facilities; understanding how these hazards arise and deploying an effective gas detection strategy is essential.1,2
Gas detectors can be broadly divided into two categories: fixed gas detectors and portable gas detectors. It’s important to note that fixed and portable gas detectors are not solutions to the same problem: each is used to address a specific aspect of gas safety.
Fixed gas detectors are typically installed in locations where there’s a relatively high possibility of a gas hazard arising. This is typically a location where a known hazardous gas is produced, used, or stored; and where personnel are commonly present. Fixed gas detectors may be single-component or multi-component, and they’re usually connected to a wide-area alarm system (as well as ventilation controls or other automated safety mechanisms).
Portable gas detectors, on the other hand, are classed as PPE and worn by the user around the breathing zone. They are usually used either in conjunction with a fixed system for TWA and STEL monitoring or where a fixed system cannot be placed such as in confined spaces, “dead spots” or leak identification. They are also used for engineers visiting multiple different sites such as refrigeration and boiler engineers as they do not know if the area has a gas detection system, thus providing personal protection for the engineer.3
Applications of Portable Gas Detectors
Portable gas detectors are used wherever gas hazards may be present and it’s not practical or possible to install a fixed gas detection system.
For example, portable gas detectors are commonly used by firefighters. While attending a fire, firefighters often use multigas detectors capable of measuring the presence of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Arson investigators commonly use portable gas detectors for monitoring VOC levels, enabling detection of compounds that could help determine the cause of a blaze.
In addition to these applications, portable gas detectors are used in spot-checking and measurement applications. For example, workers may use portable gas detectors to locate and quantify pipe leaks in both industrial and municipal gas supplies. Portable gas monitors are also used for ground gas monitoring in the oil and gas industry, and they may be used by hazmat responders entering unpredictable environments.
Portable Gas Detectors from IGD
International Gas Detectors offers a full range of portable gas detectors to ensure personnel safety in all industrial, research and commercial applications.
We partnered with mPower Electronics in 2021, and now offer their expansive range of portable gas detectors. This includes the PID NEO, a best-in-class VOC detector that pushes the boundaries of accuracy and reliability in portable gas detectors.
Alongside the mPower range, we’re proud to be the EU and UK representatives of Korean gas detector experts SENKO. We offer a range of cutting-edge SENKO portable gas detectors including the SENKO MGT, a 4-gas portable gas detector developed for confined space applications.
Got a question about portable gas detectors? We’ve been industry leaders in the development and provision of gas detectors for over 90 years. Get in touch with IGD today and we’ll help you find the best solution for any gas safety dilemma.
References and Further Reading
- Functional Safety and Gas Detection. IGD https://www.internationalgasdetectors.com/functional-safety-and-gas-detection/ (2018).
- Analysis of Factors Affecting Gas Hazards in Industrial Plants. https://yadda.icm.edu.pl/baztech/element/bwmeta1.element.baztech-384fdf81-1dae-47ef-8323-6192faa3bb1f/c/ignac-nowicka_SWwIP_2017_4.pdf
- Portable Gas Detectors. IGD https://www.internationalgasdetectors.com/portable-gas-detectors/.