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New Trend in Gas Detection Equipment

February 10, 2014

With a wireless connection, more eyes can monitor underground work and other potentially dangerous work situations.

In mid-1990’s most people were not online; 4 megabytes of memory on a computer hard drive was considered sufficient; and a cell phone was, to many, a luxury.

The technology has become more sophisticated and the core elements of gas detection are more efficient, easier to use, and more reliable. So while it is true that systems have greatly improved, the core part of a gas detection system is still essentially intact. All systems essentially include "plug-and-play" field-replaceable sensors, including PID and infrared; integral sampling pumps with strong sample draw capabilities; up to six gases monitored simultaneously; detecting high or low ppm levels (0-50 and 0-2,000) of VOC gases; % volume capability for CH4 and H2 using a TC (thermal conductivity) sensor; ppm or LEL hydrocarbon detection.

In the early 2000s, the focus was on size: Smaller was better. In the past few years, the focus has been more on ease of use and durability. Today’s detection units are built to last.

Yet there is one improvement on the horizon that will be a game-changer for everyone from facilities managers to , firefighters to wastewater management professionals--and that's wireless detection. Gas detection systems with a wireless connection can report directly back to a home office or command post miles away at the first sign of trouble. So, if you have electrical workers or DPW workers on a job underground, they can wear wireless detection units the size of a cell phone and transmit conditions back to headquarters. This gives them the option of checking gas levels while on the job and the security of knowing that someone back at headquarters has access to the same readings and can alert them to potential dangers.

Now, compare the efficiency of a wireless system to a more traditional gas detection system. In that same scenario--personnel working underground--it would require at least one worker to be stationed at the opening of the hole and monitoring gas levels. If there were a problem below, the worker stationed at the entrance would need to signal his or her co-worker about potential problems.

With a wireless connection, more eyes can monitor underground work and other potentially dangerous work situations. At the same time, the wireless connection improves safety for the worker underground should something go awry because of real-time detection. Eventually, you will see the alarm condition sent directly to the emergency response agency, very much like a fire alarm rings to the local fire department now. This will save lives by reducing the response time to an incident.