Thread: 4 gas meters

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    Default 4 gas meters

    Help,I'm seeking opinions on a 4 gas survey meter to be used primarily for air sampling in a bldg.to determine if personnel can come off air for investigation etc.Must be capable of low oxy,CO,and two other.I figure the forums is the best way to get real world opinions.Your preferences and dislikes please.T.C.

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    We have had great luck with the Phd Ultra from Biosystems. LEL, O2 , H2SO4, and CO. One button operation, even a Chief Officer can use it.

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    We use the GasAlertMax by BW Technologies. A fine unit that uses long lasting Black & Decker VersaPack batteries.

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    The volunteer Fd I run with has been using the MSA ORION 4 gas detector since the Spring of 2001. It has LEL, O2, Co and H2S capabilities. It works well for us--fits in the palm of your hand, has nickle-hydride rechargeable batteries, infra-red down load capabilities and numerous wand attachments.
    Our personnel haven't broken it and its been used quite a bit in the field and in training.
    My career department uses single gas detectors for CO calls. The multi-gas detector is kept with the Assistant Fire Chief--so he needs to be special called (not bad if he's in the office, but could be a delay if he's not or if its after regular business hours).
    It's better to talk to you than to talk about you. Keep it safe.

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    While more expensive, the MSA Orion seems to be one of the more durable and easier to calibrate units that I've seen. I don't have much real world experience with the Orion but I have plenty with the MSA Passport and if it works as well as the passport then it should be fine.
    Not that they are the end all be all of FD's, but Chicago has the Orion on their truck co's and seem to like them so far, from what I've heard.

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    We have 4 of the BW TECH GASMAXALERTS. Black-N-Decker batteries last a long time, BIG numbers are easy to read, and it has audible alarm that is really LOUD!

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    I have had exceleent results with BT Technology Defender D-4. Large readout, backlight, uses Black & Decker Versa Batteries, easy to use, maintain and calibrate.
    Similarily the MSA five star, M2200, PHD Lite, PHD Plus, Drager, Industrial Sciencific are all good units.
    Have you considered including a PID ?

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    I'm for collecting anything.Right now we don't have a thing,not even CO so I'm depending on you to give me ideas I can turn into pictures for the Board of Chief's consideration.Thanks for all the help and keep the ideas coming,I'll sort 'em out.T.C.

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    We're on our 2nd Biosystems meter. We upgraded from a PHD2 to the PHD ULTRA. We're very pleased with the performance of this instrument and the ease of calibration.

    I personally believe Biosystems is a technology leader.

    I can confirm that it is easy enough for a chief to use.

    Joe

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    I would recommend the MSA ORION 4 gas meter. I worked with a Survivair meter for years and it was a piece of crap. Constantly requiring attention. We have had the Orion in service for 4 months and it has been flawless to operate. We looked at the Lumidor, Industrial Scientific and Bio-something I cant recall of the top of my head. We found the features all to be more simplistic and better suited for field use on the MSA. You should contact all the vendors and they should be able to provide you with one to try in house. The biggest selling point on the MSA was kicking the tires.(almost literally, the salesman said it was so tough it could be run over......we took him up on it, ran it over with out mid 80's Hahn) But best bet is try them all. This will also tell you who is better to work with as support is going to be a factor in a purchase like this after the sale.
    Good luck

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    Go with the MSA Orion. We have one and are looking to buy a second. They are the easiest to calibrate (this is what sold me) plus they are small but not too small. They are very inexpensive as far as 4 gas meters go.

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    Our 82 member industrial fire department responds to 3500 emergency calls a year, as well as issues about 8,000 confined space entry permits annually at a large manufacturing site in the northeast. We have about 800+ hazmat jobs a year, so between the confined space entry permits and hazmats, we use our four gas meters numerous times a day. We have tried them all, and have been using Industrial Scientific for about 8 years now. They are built like a brick, take the punishment of this type of use in stride, and are easy to service and maintain. We have a firefighter on each shift group trained to calibrate/repair the units (20 at last count) so we don't really rely on the manufacturer for service support. Parts support is no problem, either. This is another of those "this one is better than that one" type of posts, and I don't want to get into that. Try out the units, talk to other users and go with what you think is best. Stay safe!

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    Our 82 member industrial fire department responds to 3500 emergency calls a year, as well as issues about 8,000 confined space entry permits annually at a large manufacturing site in the northeast. We have about 800+ hazmat jobs a year, so between the confined space entry permits and hazmats, we use our four gas meters numerous times a day. We have tried them all, and have been using Industrial Scientific for about 8 years now. They are built like a brick, take the punishment of this type of use in stride, and are easy to service and maintain. We have a firefighter on each shift group trained to calibrate/repair the units (20 at last count) so we don't really rely on the manufacturer for service support. Parts support is no problem, either. This is another of those "this one is better than that one" type of posts, and I don't want to get into that. Try out the units, talk to other users and go with what you think is best. Stay safe!

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    Does anyone have experience with the MSA Solaris model?

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    First things first.

    Most meters/detectors, I believe all listed so far, use senors manufactured by CityTech. The real difference is how they read the sensor: response time and curve, whether they are passive or use a pump, readability of display (backlight/size), and ease of use/maint.

    We currently use the Biosystems PhdUltra for truck companies and HazMat. They are easy to use (one button) and service, and though they are passive you can add a handpump or powered pump.

    HazMat also carries the (3) MultiRae PLUS which includes a PID and internal pump. You can set up a library for the PID allowing the meter to perform the conversions for you when entering a known atmosphere. This unit is more fragile as a drop tends to injury the pump, but a meter that gets dropped should be serviced anyway.

    Both the PhdUltra and MultiRae PLUS use CityTech sensors. Their responses are comparable and they have performed well for many years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 101 View Post
    Help,I'm seeking opinions on a 4 gas survey meter to be used primarily for air sampling in a bldg.to determine if personnel can come off air for investigation etc.Must be capable of low oxy,CO,and two other.I figure the forums is the best way to get real world opinions.Your preferences and dislikes please.T.C.
    If you want a basic monitor with a pump consider the QRAE:
    http://www.raesystems.com/products/qrae

    Or if diffusion is good enough consider the QRAE II:
    http://www.raesystems.com/products/qrae_ii

    If you need additional capability for example to assess HCN exposure during overhauls consider the QRAE+ or MultiRAE+:
    http://www.raesystems.com/products/qrae_plus
    http://www.raesystems.com/products/multirae_plus


    Dave
    RAE Systems Applications Engineer

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    The RAE are awesome systems. Currently we 5 of them on our rig. They have been through a lot of abuse and use through the years (200+ hazmat calls a year) we have had them.

    Recently we bought a gizmo that charges and calibrates them at the same time. So you return from the field, drop in place and hit the power button, it does the rest. When I get the thing to work, I will be MUCH happier, but being volunteer, time is not always there.

    Anthony

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    Default RAE equipment

    I hear good things about the RAE instruments.

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    We have used Rae for the last five years on our hazmat rig. Nothing but good things to say.

    We recently bought Qrae's for all our truck companies. Can't beat the price.
    The real benefit is that they have internal pumps so you don't need an accessory pump for confined space.
    Mike
    Fire Captain

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    Default 4 gas meters

    A standard 4 gas meter of anyone's brand measures oxygen (high and low), LEL (of the calibration gas), CO and H2S. They will not tell you if it is safe to come off SCBA. A structural fire generates cyanide, benzene, acrolein, oxides of nitrogen, etc., etc., etc. If you add a PID to the monitor it will accurately tell you how much of a chemical (within the range of the lamp) is there but not what the chemical is. If the chemical IP (ionization potential in electron volts) is out of range of the lamp in the PID then it won't be detected by it.

    Because there are so many combinations of chemicals inside a burning structure that have a synergistic effect (they amplify the hazard of any given chemical) no detector will be able to tell you if it is safe to take your SCBA off. A portable gas chromatograph maybe able to but I just don't see many fire departments with those.

    There is no safe level of smoke that can be breathed on the fireground. If in doubt, which you should be, then keep the SCBA on.

    Mike Dunn
    ert@ertrescue.com

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