A gas detection alarm system is installed to continuously monitor potentially dangerous environments that involve the storage, manufacture or use of solvents, gases, chemicals and flammable liquids.
The specification of an alarm system depends on the building structure, the purpose and use of the building and current legislation. The following is a list of some of the production processes where the installation of a gas detection fire alarm system may help to protect people, processes and property.
- Processes involving the removal of flammable materials from tanks and pipes in preparation for entry, line breaking, cleaning, or hot work such as welding;
- The evaporation of flammable solvents in a drying oven;
- Activities involving the spraying, spreading and coating of articles with paint, adhesives or other substances containing flammable solvents;
- The manufacture of flammable gases;
- The manufacture and mixing of flammable liquids;
- Storage of flammable substances;
- Processes involving the extraction of solvents
- Operations that involve the combustion of gas or oil
- Energy and power plants;
- Furnaces in which flammable materials are used
- Manufacturers and distributors of battery products.
The above industrial processes are likely to produce flammable gases and vapours which can burn when mixed with air, sometimes violently.
A gas detection fire alarm is used to trigger fire warning alarms if a specified concentration of the gas or vapour is exceeded. This provides an early warning signal of leakages before a fire has the chance to break out and/or spread.
Each system is capable of monitoring its environment 24 hours a day which has many benefits:
- It can alert people already working in the environment who may not notice the steady build-up of gases until it is too late
- When an area has been unmanned, constant monitoring means the alarm sounds before personnel unwittingly enter a dangerous environment
- The system triggers an early warning, which in turn can be used to prompt a system shut down and the call out of emergency services.
The installation of a gas detection fire alarm will help to reduce health safety risks and create safer working environments. Indeed, the installation of monitoring systems are often stipulated in order to secure adequate insurance cover and compliance with the ATEX Directive, the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres.