Managing Gas Leak Detection Systems To Prevent System Failures

Whether it's an HVAC system, a cooling system, or a hazardous gas found in petroleum production or mining, a leak presents substantial risks to employee safety.

By Bob Vigdor

Gas leaks can present an enormous danger to the viability of a business and the safety of its workers. Whether it’s an HVAC system, a cooling system, or a hazardous gas found in petroleum production or mining (such as methane), a leak presents substantial risks to employee safety. And it can hurt a company’s bottom line.

The chemicals present in gas leaks have the potential to cause the following health problems, among others:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Organ failure
  • Death

In addition to the health risks, there are harmful environmental impacts. These can lead in fines and penalties. Additionally, leaking equipment may drive operational costs higher due to refrigerant replacement costs and potential product loss.

Effective Leak Detectors For Facilities

gas leaksThe four most important characteristics to look for when selecting leak detectors for facilities include:

Speed: Quickly addressing leaks ensures workplace safety. Therefore, any gas leak detector that takes more than a couple of seconds to issue a warning is ineffective. A leak can go from dangerous to deadly in a few seconds. Detectors must sound the alarm so buildings can be vacated and leaks remedied as quickly as possible

Accuracy: Accuracy in gas detection is essential, although it can be difficult to obtain under certain environmental conditions, such as diminished oxygen or high humidity. Leak detectors must provide accurate readings for a wide variety of gases under all possible environmental conditions experienced in your workplace.

Total Cost: It’s also crucial to understand the total cost of ownership with gas leak sensors. Some sensors must be calibrated or replaced more frequently than others. It’s a good idea to know the life expectancy of any sensor considered, as well as how frequently it must be calibrated. These elements will provide a good idea of the total cost of ownership.

Ease of Use: When gas detectors must be replaced frequently – as is the case with those that are vulnerable to “poisoning” – facility managers sometimes struggle to operate them. Poisoning occurs when a sensor is exposed to toxic, corrosive, or explosive gases that inhibit their ability to work accurately. Some sensors also may give false positives, and if facility managers don’t understand the conditions in which these can occur, the workplace may be regularly disrupted by false alarms.

The Benefits Of MPS Technology

gas leaks
Fig 1: The MPS sensor detects and classifies multiple explosive gases using a single calibration.

Gas detectors using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS) are unparalleled, especially considering the key characteristics required for an optimal performance. In fixed gas detection MPS sensors provide numerous benefits:

  • 24/7/365 response: Fixed systems with MPS provide advance warning to prevent an explosion leading to loss of assets and/or death of employees.
  • Built-in self-test ensures the sensor works properly at all times.
  • Zero maintenance saves money on calibration requirements.
  • Exceptional accuracy in Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) readings for over a dozen of the world’s most common combustible gases, TrueLEL™.
  • 5+ year life expectancy

Innovative companies leverage MPS technology to provide safety, health and environmental technologies to support organizations across multiple industries. They focus on gas detection, understanding current and future market requirements, responding with market-led solutions, and solving real-world problems.

Companies are adopting MPS sensor technology to solve a growing problem facing their customers: fast, accurate detection of multiple flammable gases in a multi-gas environment. When equipped with the MPS Flammable Gas Sensor, their devices read over a dozen different gas types accurately — even gas mixtures — and confidently deliver accurate detection in the field. The result is a new level of safety for workers and facility protection.

Choosing the right gas leak detector helps ensure that leaks are detected and remedied quickly. And, using advanced MPS technology brings a new level of accuracy to field performance with little to no maintenance for years. Ultimately, this can minimize business losses while providing greater workplace safety.

gas leak detectionBob Vigdor, Director Safety Sales, NevadaNano Systems, leads the global sales is responsible for strategic account management, new product development, and the global sales organization at NevadaNano Systems. He has focused on safety in the gas industry for more than 30 years, working to create healthier work environments by expanding knowledge and the integration of leading edge MPS technology in gas leak detection systems. You can reach him at

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  1. Great post. You explained different characteristics we need to look when choosing effective gas leak detectors. It was really useful for us.

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