You keep methane sensors in your facility to track this deadly gas, but the sensor is worthless if you do not know what to do when it goes off. The alarm indicates a high level of methane gas that could explode at any time, and you must create a plan for dealing with the gas. This article explains the steps you must take when you hear the sensor sound its alarm, and you must take each step seriously for everyone’s safety.
1: Create An Evacuation Chart
You must place maps in your facility that show a clear evacuation route for each employee. Draw arrows that explain how people may exit the building, and mark areas outside the building that are at a safe distance. The evacuation chart may prevent trampling and chaos when you are trying to get everyone out of the building.
2: Shut Down Everything
You must have emergency shutoff buttons on all your machinery. Your employees must be trained to shut down operations when the alarm goes off, and you may shut down the plant from your office. The emergency lights must stay on for evacuation purposes, but everything else in the building must stop running. A single spark could ignite the methane gas that set off the alarm.
3: Start The Blower Fans
Your facility must have blower fans that will suck the methane gas out. These fans must run on remote power sources that will not ignite the gas, and you must turn on the fans before you leave the building. You may use a remote system to turn on the fans, or the power switch for the fans may be located outside the building.
4: Do A Head Count
You must think of yourself like the principal of a school. Take a head count of every employee at work that day, and ensure you know where those employees are. Emergency response crews must know if there is someone in the building who must be rescued, and you may be held liable if an employee is left in the building under hazardous conditions.
5: Call For Assistance
You must have a hazmat team on speed dial for these occasions. The hazmat team can enter your building safely, check for the source of the methane leak and start the fans in your building if you could not. The hazmat crew can check the levels of methane in the building, and the crew will tell you when the building is clear. You must not attempt to enter your building for any reason until you have been told to do so by a hazmat professional.
The five steps above will help you respond appropriately to a methane gas leak. The methane sensor you installed will sound a loud alarm when levels are too high, and you must follow the steps here to keep everyone in the building safe. Do not skip any steps in this list, and ensure you have contacted emergency response crews who can clear the building for you.