Since many industrial buildings, laboratories, and offshore drilling platforms have flammable gases such as carbon monoxide or natural gas on their premises, it is important they have sophisticated monitoring systems in place to make sure gas buildups or leaks are quickly detected and dealt with in a safe manner. For many facilities, this means installing catalytic-type gas sensors in and around areas where gas leaks or buildups are likely to occur. But as technology has changed in these sensors, safety personnel and engineers may have questions as to their capabilities. If you are part of this group, here are some important details about the features of these sensors.

Hydrocarbon Exposure

While catalytic bead sensors can perform well in many types of harsh work environments, it is important to remember they may have issues if placed in areas where there will be long-term exposure to hydrocarbons. Though able to do well in areas where humidity levels are high, temperature extremes occur, and dust and dirt may be present, exposure to hydrocarbons can lead to transmitter signals becoming weak, ultimately compromising the safety of an area and its employees.

Multiple Gas Detection

Since many different types of gases can be flammable, today’s catalyst sensors are made to use state-of-the-art electronics and calibration to detect multiple gases within an area. In fact, the most sophisticated of these sensors can now be programmed to detect gases that infrared sensors cannot, making them very useful in a wide array of work environments.

Confined Space Monitoring

In many instances when a fire or explosion takes place at an industrial facility, it originates in a confined space near equipment, pipes, or valves. While these areas can be monitored with high degrees of accuracy and reliability with fixed catalyst monitors, many companies also add an extra level of protection by investing in portable monitors. Handheld models that can also be clipped to clothing, these monitors are just as capable of transmitting real-time data as fixed monitors, and can also be carried by employees as they move about from one area of a facility to another. Thus, they are very useful for helping maintenance technicians and engineers monitor carbon monoxide levels as they repair, replace, inspect, or troubleshoot equipment in confined spaces.

Proper Positioning

To get the best results from a catalyst detector, pay close attention to how and where the detector is positioned. Though able to do well in extremely harsh work settings, they can risk becoming contaminated from such chemicals as silicone and chlorine. If this occurs, the detectors can grow weaker and eventually become inactive. Rather than let this happen, it is vital regular maintenance checks by performed by technicians. On a monthly basis, technicians should test the detectors by using a controlled amount of gas to check for data accuracy and proper transmission of data to on-site personnel and off-site engineers in monitoring centers. Once this is done, the detectors can then be certified by technicians, letting everyone know the area will be accurately monitored.