Since a natural gas fire or explosion can happen quickly, industrial facilities and laboratories must have detection systems that can be relied upon for accuracy and reliability at all times. Since buildings and other areas can vary in terms of size and layout, it can be difficult to ensure all areas such as confined spaces and storage areas are properly monitored for gas buildups. However, when selecting natural gas leak detectors, it is important to note various factors must be considered to ensure the detectors installed in an area will perform as expected.
As it is when selecting any type of natural gas sensor, it is vital environmental conditions be taken into consideration. Due to many industrial and lab settings having such conditions as temperature extremes, high humidity levels, and dust or dirt, these factors can all play a part in possibly making a sensor relay inaccurate data or sound false alarms. While most of today’s detectors are equipped with technology allowing them to perform well in harsh work areas, it is nevertheless important to know the detector selected for a facility has a proven record of success in particular work conditions.
In some situations, the ability to maintain proper calibration of a natural gas monitor may come into play. This can sometimes occur when a gas leak occurs, since the surrounding air will quickly change. As a result, this may make it difficult for a monitor to maintain proper calibration so that accurate data can be sent to engineers for analysis. To keep this from happening, most standalone sensors are designed to be self-calibrating, meaning they can constantly adjust to changing conditions based on gas levels in the surrounding work environment.
Monitoring Confined Spaces
When companies rely exclusively on standalone natural gas monitors to scan gas levels in confined spaces, they may not be getting data that is as accurate and reliable as needed. Due to confined spaces often being located in hard-to-reach areas, it is possible at times fixed detectors may have difficulty locating extremely small gas leaks in these areas. As a result, workers in these areas may be put at unnecessary risk. To make working in these areas safer, workers are often provided portable natural gas detectors. Roughly the size of a smartphone, they can clip to a technician’s uniform while equipment installations or troubleshooting are taking place. Along with offering hands-free monitoring, the detectors can send real-time information to nearby personnel to ensure safety levels are constantly maintained.
For facilities that choose to use conventional fixed sensors due to their lower costs and ability to be installed in various work environments, they sometimes find maintenance costs may become an issue. Since the sensors in these detectors may need to be replaced on a regular basis, it may be to their benefit to consider standalone sensors. While costing significantly more, they offer the advantage of longer-lasting sensors and the ability to use only one detector to monitor a large area.