Earlier this year, a five-year-old boy lost his life in a deadly blast in Navi Mumbai. The gas was left on overnight, and once ignited in the morning, the cylinder exploded and a wall separating two houses collapsed, crushing the child in the debris. Just a few days ago, a devastating fire in Varanasi claimed the lives of six people, including two children. The cause of this accident was an LPG cylinder explosion in a temple. Not too long ago, a huge fire broke out in a Patna storage unit which was caused by eight gas cylinders blowing up. All of these incidents have something in common – they’re all related to gas explosions and could have been avoided with the presence of a gas detector.What’s more is that the damage done in gas explosions in commercial areas are far more dangerous because of the proximity to other flammable equipment, take for example the Patna fire, all it took was one, undetected leak to spark 8 cylinders into a series of explosions. Employers and manufacturers around the world are acknowledging the very real risks of gas explosions and gas detectors are becoming the norm for any commercial space which involves the handling of gas.
Why is it important to use different gas detectors for different needs?
Choosing the right gas detector requires close inspection of your needs and a study of the options available to you while considering functionality and applications. If these two are aligned, then you have found the right gas detector which addresses your needs. If not, let’s take a closer look, and we mean literally take a closer look!
A site inspection is nowhere near enough; you need to conduct a thorough risk assessment to classify any potential gas leaks. Choosing your gas detector will depend on the results of this assessment. If the risks are highest for the release of LPG, you’ll need one that detects LPG, if your risks are highest for carbon monoxide, then that’s the detector you’ll need. There are different kinds of gas leaks and, therefore, there are various gas detectors built to identify them. A gas detector in a restaurant would be different from one in a parking lot because the two have very different risks. The risk of explosions caused due to undetected LPG leaks is the highest in restaurants, whereas risks of hydrogen leaks are much higher in areas with battery rooms. Each hazardous gas has different characteristics and hence, has different requirements to be detected. So choice of the gas detector comes down to utility- where do you need your gas detectors?
Let us take a look at the various commercial gas detectors –
LPG Gas Leak Detector
Designed for the safety of commercial and industrial kitchens, commercial grade gas leak detectors can detect LPG or PNG and send out a warning before the gas density in the air reaches dangerous levels. This gas detector is designed for early warnings of CNG leakage through pipelines or cylinders. These detectors are mounted on the walls and are designed to be used for commercial areas such as restaurant kitchens and large canteens.
Carbon Monoxide Gas Leak Detector
A silent and deadly killer, Carbon Monoxide is impossible to detect without a gas detector since it is odorless, colourless and non-irritant. It is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in the UK, and accidental deaths are common in these lethal poisonings. This gas is caused mainly in heating systems, blocked chimneys, faulty appliances and parking spaces. If you’re dealing with areas which receive less ventilation or have a higher amount of CO2 emissions, you’ll need a carbon monoxide detector. Make sure that you choose one where the output of the detector is PFC relay. A good gas detector will be waterproof and splash-proof, and will have a LEL barograph, requiring no calibration.
Hydrogen Gas Detector
This deadly gas is a high risk in battery rooms, which puts a lot of industries at risk. Even railways and metros which use huge battery packs are at risk of this gas leak. In fact, just a few weeks ago, a fire in Mantralaya, the seat of power in Mumbai claimed the lives of three people and left fifteen gravely injured. The cause of this was hydrogen banks which were being held in a server room. This is why it is essential to have a good gas detector if this is one of your risks. A good detector would have a replaceable filter, IP65 enclosure, and a LEL bargraph. It should also be interfaced with the gas detection panel to detect the exact location of the gas leak and allow taking quick action.
As the population rises, the CO2 emissions will naturally rise too. This means that spaces which are large enclosures are at risk for this kind of leak. In a sealed environment such as a mall, oxygen levels drop from 21% to 17%, the CO2level will rise to 4%. This level of CO2 can result in dizziness, confusion, and headaches. At higher levels of CO2, it can be life-threatening. Large tanks of CO2 are stored in pressurized tanks in bars, breweries, and restaurants. Since the gas is colourless and odorless, a leak will basically result in a death trap for everyone within the premises. This is why it is important to have a good gas detector since it is impossible to detect otherwise.
Refrigerant Gas Detector
Last year, an ammonia gas leak in Kanpur caused a tragic explosion in a cold storage facility that took the lives of five people and injured several others. Just a few months later, 50 students were hospitalized in Chhindwara after a gas leak in a cold storage near the school. The effects of a gas leak from VRF systems can be devastating, which is why a Refrigerant Gas Leak Detector is essential. A good gas detector can be used in refrigeration systems in commercial and industrial premises, food and storage facilities, supermarkets, parking garages, wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, and schools and colleges. Look out for bargraph indication which will tell you the level of concentration of the gas. Make sure that your gas detector is available with PPM bargraph and a long life semiconductor sensor. It also helps to choose one which is water and dust retardant and has a replaceable filter.
While choosing the right gas detector, make sure that you are evaluating all of the risks involved and choose a gas detector which is most suitable for your needs.
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