Understanding the Benefit of FM Performance Approved Gas Detectors
In facilities where gas is present the stakes are high and the dangers are significant. Fixed-point gas detectors, or area monitors, are common safety instruments used throughout industry to protect personnel, processes, and facilities from unplanned releases of toxic or combustible gases and vapors. Upon detecting gas, an area monitor can activate alarms and hazard suppression and mitigation systems. Point gas monitors are typically placed in strategic locations near an area of high-risk or in a grid pattern.
Modern fixed-point gas monitors use a universal transmitter platform enabling users to swap sensors between gas types while standardizing on a single instrument type. This feature is proved particularly beneficial in a facility where toxic, combustible, and asphyxiant gases are present.
Selecting appropriate gas monitors for a facility can be a complex decision effected by availability of specific gas sensors and ranges, local and national approval requirements, hazardous classified area ratings, and costs. Seeking third-party performance approved gas detectors can greatly aid in removing complexity from the selecting process.
Governing organizations and regulatory codes such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Code (NEC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide guidelines and standards for monitoring gas. Because each standard or code has different requirements and application based upon jurisdiction, specifiers and engineers often seek third-party approval from an approval organization to ensure that selected gas detectors meet all specifications provided by the manufacturer.
Certification organizations may operate differently and use their own criteria for testing gas detection equipment. The majority of Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL) verify electrical safety and hazardous area requirements but performance testing is not always completed. Factory Mutual (FM) Approvals is the only certification organization in the world who mandates performance testing for all types of gas detection (i.e. combustible, toxic, and oxygen deficiency) as a requirement of certification. A FM Approvals certification mark signifies that the point gas detector has been evaluated for performance as well as electrical safety.
In facilities where gas is present the stakes are high and the dangers are significant. Personnel, process, and facility safety systems should be performance tested to ensure integrity. Specify FM Approved gas detectors.