Gas detection: not to be taken lightly

Gas detection: not to be taken lightly


There is no need to explain why the different gas detection tools are essential, even crucial, for front-line workers, foremen, supervisors, safety engineers and executives of certain companies.

When it comes to choosing a gas detection solution, the decision is often based on the capacity of the equipment to keep the worker safe with its reliability, precision and responsiveness. Other important factors, such as maintaining the worker’s productivity and the cost of the device, will also have an impact on the decision.

The instruments designed by Draeger are extremely reliable. To offer the most efficient and safe solutions for workers, this German company focuses on four main pillars:

  • Accuracy
  • Response times
  • Reliability
  • Ownership cost


The components of a gas detector contributing to its accuracy are the diffusion membrane, electrolyte, electrodes and bias voltage. Each detector has a diffusion membrane over its physical opening. It is designed to let the target gas inside while keeping all other gases outside the detector. To assist in this process, a filter may be installed outside the detector, which will help the device to better aim at the target.

The combination of the electrode materials and the electrolyte solution allows to better target a specific gas. This material and chemical combination creates a particular reaction when a gas is introduced, but no reaction when in contact with a different gas. With these specific arrangements to the design, the sensor can target a specific gas.

To increase the sensitivity of a gas sensor, a bias voltage is applied. Its intensity is specific to the gas to detect and efficiently reduces readings due to intrusive gases.

To maintain the accuracy of a gas sensor, it is important to perform the maintenance and calibration according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Often, for a same product from two manufacturers, Draeger will suggest a less frequent calibration, and will still obtain a higher level of accuracy during readings. For more information, precision measurements and calibration requirements are found on products’ technical sheets.

Response time

A reading with a few additional seconds may seem insignificant, but when working in a high-risk industry, a couple of seconds can make the difference between a healthy worker and an injured one. The Draeger sensors offer one of the quickest response times in the industry.

In hazardous areas, a few seconds will give the user time to get away from a critical situation. The response time of a device is not to be taken lightly. All detection response times can be found on the product’s technical sheets. Take the time to read them carefully.


The reliability of a sensor can be described as being able to continue operating in a manner for which it was designed. One aspect of this reliability is the capacity to measure the targeted gas properly.

To keep a worksite in operation and not be slowed down by a sensor issue down are essential for users. This is even more important for locations far from a service or support center.

The Draeger products are the perfect example of remarkable reliability. For example, Draeger promises that its oxygen sensor will operate appropriately for five years by offering a 5-year warranty. Often, the product has an even longer service life.

Sometimes, sensors stop working due to exposure to a high concentration of gas or important changes in temperature or atmospheric pressure. The interruption may be temporary and short term, or it may be a more permanent failure.

The capacity of the sensor to recover its functions after such conditions shows its reliability. Draeger offers highly reliable products, capable of recovering their functions after they have been exposed to extreme conditions.

Ownership cost

To be able to determine the complete ownership cost, it is crucial to identify the number of sensors you will need as well as the exact type of monitoring system.

Also, add the ownership cost of the test station(s) required to perform daily tasks. Will you need a single test station or many in different locations across the company?

Also, you should know the fees paid for gas calibration. Many manufacturers minimize the impact of this fee, but it is an important component as each gas detection solution is used differently within the same process. The main difference is the time required to perform a calibration and the response time of the detector. If the response time of the sensor is slower, it will take more time for the device to react to the gas and a greater quantity will be required.

All those added costs will help choose the most adapted solution when selecting gas detection equipment.

For more information about gas detection solution, contact our experts at 1-866-861-8111 or consult our dedicated website section.