Gases are one of the fundamental states of matter and the air around us is a mixture of pure gases existing naturally in a combined state. Hence there is need to detect each particular gas.

A Gas Detector is a gadget that detects the presence or existence of gases in an isolated location. This equipment is used to carefully search for gas leak or other emissions and can interface with a facility’s control system so a process can be automatically shut down.


Gas Detection is necessary and is incorporated as part of the safety system of most Oil and Gas facilities as well as other industrial facilities because its integration can be used to detect combustible, flammable and toxic gases. Also, gas detection helps to monitor oxygen consumption in underground terrains (such as gold mines and coal mines), reasons being that reduced oxygen levels can cause dizziness in workers and potential passing out. If levels are too low it can cause serious brain damage or death. Gas detection may be employed in firefighting. In addition, a gas detector can sound warning or evacuation alarm to operators in the area where the leak is occurring, giving them time to leave the premises. This instrument is of immeasurable importance because there are many gases that can be harmful to organic life, such as plants, humans and animals.

Types of Gas Detectors

Gas detectors can be classified into two major form factors depending on their operation mechanism: Fixed and Portable Gas Detectors.

Portable Detection Systems: This is often employed to assist workers undertaking tasks such as maintenance, where employees might disturb or release gas that should not be freely roaming in that area. Portable detectors are also a useful way of sampling gases, where workers need to measure the quality of the atmosphere around personnel and are either hand-held or worn on clothing or on a belt/harness. These gas detectors are usually designed to run on battery. They transmit visible and audible signals through flash lamps and alarms when harmful gas vapor reaches dangerous levels.

Fixed Detection Systems: This as the name goes is mainly fixed at a position within the work area. Their placement position within the building or process plant is dependent on the gas density (whether the gas is heavier or lighter than air). Fixed type detectors are generally mounted near the process area of a plant or control-room, or an area to be protected and a cable connected to a monitoring system that can be activated during emergency, they may be used for detection of one or more gas types. 

There are other types of gas detectors which are employed for peculiar industrial operations which include:

Electro-chemical gas detectors, Photo-ionization detectors, Infrared points, Infrared imaging, Semi-conductor sensors, Ultra-sonic Gas leak detectors, Catalytic bead (pellistor) , Holographic gas sensors, etc. it is worthy of note that a Multi-Gas detector can be employed to replace some of the earlier mentioned detectors, because it was designed for events where a variety of gases need monitoring at the same time the detectors are preset to meet users’ individual requirements. They are commonly used for the following gases, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Carbon monoxide (CO2), Oxygen (O2) and combustibles (%LEL). All gas detectors require regular calibration to ensure accuracy of the gas readings. It will interest you to know that you need not travel too far to make procurement for this equipment. We got you covered at GZ Industrial supplies

23rd Jan 2020 Egbujua, Michael C.

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