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Everything about gas detectors for industries, garages and households

Detection of toxic and flammable gases must be a very important safety measure in our households, garages and workplaces where there is a risk of leakage. We will provide a brief overview of how to select detectors and where to place them properly.

Gas detectors for garages

Cars emit toxic fumes that are dangerous to human health and can cause poisoning. Their concentration can be high especially in car parks and underground garages. These fumes are in particular:

  • carbon monoxide,
  • unburned hydrocarbons,
  • nitrogen oxides,
  • soot.

Operators of underground garages and parkings are obliged by law to monitor concentrations of toxic fumes using sensors, and to ensure sufficient ventilation of their premises and installation of a warning system. The relevant European standard EN 50194-1 specifically stipulates the obligation to detect carbon monoxide and determines the minimum requirements for ventilation and other building modifications and technical equipment of car parks.

Underground garages and car parks with permission for cars with alternative drives to park

A specific category are car parks where cars with LPG (liquefied petroleum gas or hydrocarbon gas), CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas) propulsion are allowed. Until recently, such cars were not permitted in car parks and underground garages. They are now allowed, provided, however, that the car park meets other conditions in addition to the above-mentioned standard for car parks.

There is a risk of explosion in the case of cars with gas drives. A necessary condition for the operation of these parking garages is therefore the construction and fire modification according to the valid standards and the installation of gas sensors, combined with ventilation and fire protection equipment and warning system.

Gas detection in garages is subject to strict standards.

Gas detectors in industries and public buildings

All employers must ensure the safety of their employees at work. Rules of occupational health and safety are very individual and depend on the risks of involved people in a particular workplace. If there is a flammable or toxic gas in their workplace, protection against its leakage is a key part of occupational health and safety.

These are most often hazardous gases:

  • Carbon monoxide, which is produced by improper combustion and is toxic to humans. Typically, CO detectors are placed in incinerators and other areas where combustion takes place.
  • Flammable and explosive gases, such as methane or propane-butane. Installing detectors is necessary, even if there is no actual handling of gases.
  • Carbon dioxide, which is formed mainly during respiration and combustion. Higher concentrations of CO2 can cause suffocation, prevention is sufficient ventilation.

Employers must instal a sufficient number of gas detectors at their workplace, comply with valid standards relating to the construction and technical equipment of buildings, and regularly train employees in the field of occupational health and safety.

In industries, installation of gas detectors is an essential part of health and safety.

Gas detectors for your home

Households using natural gas or gas from propane-butane tanks should invest in a flammable gas and carbon monoxide detector. These gases pose a great risk to your health and your property, and their leakage can only be safely detected by properly installed detectors.

Even though natural gas has a strong and specific odor, it is definitely not advisable to rely on your senses only. If the gas leaks in a room where you do not normally stay, or you are not at home, you sleep or you have a limited sense of smell due to illness, you may not detect the leak in time. There is a risk of explosion and fire if natural gas leaks.

Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled and can cause fatal poisoning. It is formed during improper combustion, not only in gas appliances, but also in the case of solid fuel boilers or fireplaces.

These are the most common reasons for a flammable gas leak in a household:

  • flame extinction (by wind or spilling water),
  • damage to the appliance, especially due to improper handling,
  • damage to wiring or seals,
  • neglected revision or improper installation
  • construction work.

Natural gas detectors and CO detectors for the household are equipped with sound or light signaling, and their combination is ideal.

Nejčastějším zdrojem úniku zemního plynu v domácnostech je plynový sporák. 

Installation and placement of gas detectors

You can safely install a gas detector by yourself in your home, but in the case of garages/car parks or industries, it is necessary to hand over the installation to experts. In general, gas detectors are positioned according to whether the sensed gas is heavier than air, lighter than air, or evenly dispersed.

Gases lighter than air include, in particular, natural gas, and therefore these detectors are placed under the ceiling. On the contrary, propane-butane is heavier than air, so the detectors are placed above the floor. CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors, which have about the same weight as air, are then placed at about eye level.

Make sure that leaking gas can disperse freely to your detector, so there must not be obstacles between the source of gas leak and the detector, but also no risk of draugh. Therefore, do not install detectors on doors, windows, fans and extractor hoods. Humidity can also reduce the sensitivity of detectors, so in in bathrooms, it is necessary to have a detector with IP protection.

Maintenance and calibration

Gas detectors do not require any special maintenance, but it is necessary to avoid their clogging with, for example, dust or grease. Detectors usually run on batteries, so it is necessary to monitor them. Less practical are mains-operated detectors, where you are limited by the location of the sockets and length of the cable during installation, in addition, such gas leak detectors do not work in the event of a power failure.

Calibration of gas detectors, ie setting the limit concentration at which the alarm is triggered, is already performed at the factory. However, in the case of the use of detectors in garages and industries, regular inspections and calibrations are necessary.