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What is a Confined Space Gas Detector?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Feb 15, 2024
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A confined space gas detector is a device used to detect certain types of harmful gases in the air. Some are designed to detect only one type of gas, while others can recognize three or more gases. They are often used in factories, homes, and other areas where fresh air is limited. When a dangerous gas is detected, the device usually sounds an alarm or uses another form of warning.

The use of a confined space gas detector is recommended to anyone using natural gas or businesses where various forms of gas are used regularly. Each device is designed differently, and they may each have different sensitivities. In very small areas, it does not take much gas at all to poison an individual, so confined space models should detect even the smallest of leaks to be effective.

When the sensors of the gas detector recognize levels of a gas or gases that they have been programmed to detect in amounts higher than usual, an alarm is normally used to alert the home or business owner. Sometimes another cue is used, such as flickering lights. When this occurs, all people should be removed from the area and any items running on the gas should be turned off. The fire department should be contacted and no one should reenter the building until it has been confirmed safe. The company which supplies the gas or gases should also be contacted to repair broken lines, or the manufacturer may have to replace or fix broken appliances or tools.

Some gases are very flammable, so individuals should stay far away from any building with a gas leak. Anything which may result in spark or flame should be avoided. In factory settings where machinery may be used during production of goods, the confined space gas detector should be designed to recognize amounts smaller than needed to ignite since many machines can cause sparks.

The batteries in the detector should be tested and changed regularly so that they are in proper working order when needed. Batteries should be changed at least once every six months to a year, even if they appear to be working. It is important to buy a confined space gas detector that is designed to recognize the types of gas most likely to occur in the area. When in doubt, a multi-gas model may be the best option.

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