What should I pay attention to when using Portable Gas Detector?

User:JXCTUpload time:Mar 09 2023

Portable Gas Detector

Portable gas detectors are one of the various trusted safety essentials found on any marine vessel. Potentially life-threatening and toxic gases are constantly present on ships of all kinds, so it is vital to protect the crew from the risk of spillage. Even with all necessary protective measures in place, spills can still happen and quick response is critical to saving lives and preventing injuries.

In addition to fixed gas detection units, portable gas detectors provide a waterproof wearable protective layer, ensuring that individuals are alerted in the event of a gas leak and remain safe at all times, anywhere on board.

Portable gas sensor

Choosing the Right Portable Gas Detector Model for the Job

Not all portable gas detectors are created equal. Not only are there various levels of quality and durability (more on that later), but there are also different types of gas detectors to be aware of. Failing to choose a reliable model that can withstand the elements thrown at you over the course of each working day at sea is critical. Some detectors are designed with specific protection features, such as water and dust resistance.

When choosing a portable gas detector, you need to pay attention

When choosing a portable gas detector, the first consideration is the type of use and the gas to be detected. A single gas detector can detect one to seven gases – each model is tailored for a different application and gas. A comprehensive risk assessment of the work area should be performed to initially identify all potential hazards - when carrying out work to prevent the risks associated with toxic gases, extra time and care should be taken to ensure that the correct portable gas detectors are specified.

When making your selection, your checklist should include the full capabilities of your gas detector, including a full list of the gases it can detect and any contaminants that might affect the effectiveness of the sensor you need attention to.

Second, consider where the gas detector will be used and the amount of wear and tear it may need to withstand to keep it functioning properly. Temperature, pressure levels, and humidity can all affect the functionality of a portable gas detector.

Make sure your gas detectors are placed safely and reasonably

Portable gas detectors are designed to be worn on the body - but did you know that placement is so important - that it can affect the function and efficiency of your gas detector?

It's not uncommon to have portable gas detectors attached to your belt -- but that's actually one of the worst things about them. Gas detectors primarily protect users from gases and respiratory toxins, and portable gas detectors are optimally placed as close as possible to the main entry points for toxins into the body – the nose and mouth.

From a practical standpoint, placing a portable gas detector as close to your face as possible is the wisest choice - but it also ensures you are protected from a wide range of potentially toxic gases, which behave in different ways . Gases like methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are all lighter than air, so they rise quickly and collect at higher places. Conversely, gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide are heavier, so they typically accumulate at lower levels in the event of a leak.

Remember, it is also critical to ensure that your portable gas detector remains uncovered at all times. Burying a portable gas detector under a heavy coat or fleece or in a pocket impairs its ability to detect gas concentrations in the air, but also prevents the user from hearing and seeing visual and audible alarms, especially during busy, in a noisy environment.

Multi gas sensor
Multi gas sensor

Properly calibrated and kept up to date with maintenance

In addition to regular professional maintenance, correct initial setup is key – portable gas detectors need to be calibrated to detect certain gases at specific levels. Calibration testing for accuracy (shock testing does not), but it also involves a full inspection and professional service by experts. Calibration intervals depend on the type of gas detector model you choose, but most guidelines recommend at least 6 months.

Even when purchasing the most robust safety equipment, regular and thorough maintenance is key to keeping it in good working order. Ensuring that your portable gas detector is properly serviced and inspected by a professional during the calibration process is key. Certificates should be provided after each service to ensure that you are always complying with current regulations and health and safety guidelines.

Perform regular breath tests

To remain effective, gas sensors need to be bump tested on a regular basis. During a bump test, the detector is exposed to a controlled concentration of gas above the alarm set point to test its responsivity. This checks that the sensors are responding correctly to the gas, including the alarm and display system. Bump testing is the most reliable way to ensure that a portable gas detector is functioning properly.