Gas Detectors and Gas Monitors

Gas detectors and monitors have a variety of important safety applications. Different gas monitors detect different gases, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and oxygen.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel is burned without sufficient oxygen. Typically, carbon monoxide buildup is caused by poorly maintained gas appliances, or by outdoor cooking equipment being used indoors. High concentrations of carbon monoxide can kill extremely quickly. Even at lower concentrations, it can cause dizziness, confusion and nausea. The special danger of carbon monoxide is that it is difficult to detect, and by the time the affected know what is happening, it may already be too late. It is odourless, tasteless and colourless, and so the only way to detect it is by using specialised testing equipment. Experts recommend placing at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, and close to bedrooms if possible to wake sleepers quickly.

Combustible Gas Detectors

Combustible gas detectors detect a wide variety of flammable gases, and are often used in construction, industry and mining to detect dangerous gas leaks. Combustible gas detectors come in two major types. Passive detectors use a catalytic bead that reacts with combustible gases to detect their presence. Active detectors use an infrared emitter and an infrared detector to detect combustible gases. Gas detectors may be designed to be fixed in place, like a smoke alarm, or for hand-held portable use.

Other Gas Detectors

Carbon monoxide and combustible gas detectors are the ones most commonly fitted in homes. However, commercial and industrial users also use detectors for other types of gas. Refrigerant detectors are used to search for refrigerant gases such as CFCs and HFCs and detect faults in air conditioning systems. Refrigerants can be a serious environmental hazard if allowed to escape unchecked, and so detecting leaks is a priority. Other types of gas detector can be used to detect formaldehyde, oxygen or other air quality measures such as humidity.

Other Useful Detectors

Gas testers are not the only detectors with important safety applications. Air flow meters and anemometers measure air movement and are important for measuring air movement through pipes as well as having other applications. Electrical circuit meters and multimeters measure voltage, current and resistance in electrical circuits. They are essential for electronic maintenance, particularly making sure that a circuit is not live before working on it.