One of the most dangerous gases in industrial settings, carbon monoxide must be closely monitored to keep oil and gas workers as safe as possible. A byproduct of engines that burn fossil fuels, the gas is one that requires constant monitoring through the use of carbon monoxide monitors. While plant managers at almost any facility realize how lethal carbon monoxide can be to unsuspecting workers, they also realize the importance of maintaining CO alarms. When it comes to properly maintaining carbon monoxide alarms, there are numerous factors to take into consideration.

Sensor System

For any carbon monoxide detector, maintaining the sensor system is extremely important when it comes to ensuring accuracy and reliability. For many sensor systems, the simple draw sample type is used, which draws in gas through various detection channels and relies on variations within the system’s electrical charges to determine the gas levels. In other work areas, a carbon monoxide sensor relying on an open path system is used to monitor CO levels. With this sensor system, infrared light reflects off a surface and bounces back to the monitor, detailing the gas levels within the work area.

Central Detection

As more and more companies rely on these monitors to protect their employees from dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, they have set up their systems so that data can be quickly relayed in real-time to a central detection facility. Using the latest wireless technology, these systems use RF-frequencies to transmit data to emergency personnel that may be located many miles away. To make sure the system is providing accurate and reliable data, an alarm panel is used to receive information and is continually checked by engineers to see if gas levels are approaching dangerous levels, which in most cases are 200 parts per million or more.

Automatic Alerts

Once the wireless technology is used to connect the sensors and monitoring stations and panels, they have the capability to provide automatic alerts to personnel at the work site as well as safety personnel at a monitoring station. Along with alerting first response teams to dangerous gas levels, these monitors also let managers perform calibration and testing of sensors, and in some cases let trained workers do these tasks as well during emergency situations.

A Customized Network

To maintain CO monitors that will continue to relay accurate data, the wireless network needs to be highly customized at both the on-site facility and the central monitoring station. To ensure the monitors provide the most reliable data possible, careful attention should be paid as to where they are installed. For example, great care should be taken to dilute any potentially dangerous gas concentrations. While some companies may use large fans to move air in a circular pattern, it’s instead best to consult technicians trained in building customized networks. Using data such as the facility’s square footage, airflow direction, and the amount of gases produced by nearby equipment, it’s possible to maintain CO monitors and ensure a facility and its employees stay safe.

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