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Wireless Gas Detection for First Responders and PRCS Entry

March 27, 2013 Gas Detection
Confined Space, first responder, fixed system, Gas Detector, Gas Monitor, PRCS, wireless controller, wireless gas detection

Safety professionals gain a greater degree of understanding and control over work or emergency environments containing dangerous atmospheres with a wirelessly broadcasting personal gas monitoring system. The biggest improvement with wireless over traditional personal gas monitors is that workers in dangerous areas, which are often loud industrial sites, would not be the only one to know if unsafe atmospheres are encountered. Managers and commanders are also monitoring the information and alarm readings from their workers’ monitors in real time, and can effectively reduce response times in cases of emergency.

Wireless Gas Detection Data Controller

The cornerstone of the RAE Systems wireless gas detection program is the EchoView Host Mini-Controller. This device helps form the closed-loop wireless solutions for portable gas monitors. The EchoView is a rugged handheld controller that can establish a self-contained network with up to eight compatible RAE Systems ToxiRAE Pro, ToxiRAE Pro LEL, ToxiRAE Pro PID, or MultiRAE Multi-Threat wireless monitors, and display their gas-concentration readings and alarm status in real time on an easy-to-read screen.

To boost the range and overall capabilities of the wireless monitors and the EchoView Host Controller, RAE Systems also has Mesh Routers which can extend the range between the EchoView Host and the gas monitors it supports from 330 feet (or 100 meters) up to 0.6 miles (or about 1 kilometer).

Wireless systems not only solve many problems associated with fixed gas detection units, they also are comparable to fixed systems in terms of price once the overall cost of installation is examined. Fixed systems for gas detection in, oil and gas exploration for example, are often heavy, they have bulky cables, and they can be difficult to install and maintain through calibration and replacement of sensors.

Wireless systems are easy to augment. Additional monitors or EchoView Host Controllers can be added at any time and configured into the wireless system in fractions of a second. Fixed systems are much more difficult to install. And this is where a major cost of the wired systems makes a wireless systems more attractive – the wire. While a continuous power source is an advantage for wired systems, the fact that an electrician is required to install new components is not. Most wireless systems produced by RAE System can fit in a simple carrying case. Fixed systems have hundreds of feet of wire. And if the system needs to be moved to a new location or redeployed within the existing location, it can take a number of hours, or even days, depending upon the complexity of the system.

Deployment of the wireless system, in contrast, requires only that the units be taken to their most advantageous positions, then turned on. Clearly this is a far simpler installation, and one that takes mere minutes. The same goes for repairs. A fixed system will need a qualified person to inspect the troublesome monitor, then make the determination about whether to replace or repair. All this takes time. With a wireless problem, a spare EchoView can be walked out to the location, and the one that is experiencing problems removed for repair or replacement without any down time. The wireless command control doesn’t care that a new component is transmitting, and work can continue.

At the end of the day, gas detection is there to keep workers safe. But work often cannot proceed in areas where fixed gas detection systems are not functioning. Because the wireless system is so easy to replace when components go down, it virtually eliminates shut-downs caused by malfunctioning gas detection units. In this way, wireless systems create a more efficient work environment.

Wireless systems simply work better worker safety and emergency response, as well as being modular, replaceable, and easy to install. If you have questions about these systems, please give us a ring at 800-829-9580 or visit us online at www.pksafety.com.