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  1. #1
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    Default Portable Multi-Gas Detectors

    Any VFD or Career departments out there. We are looking at getting 1 or 2 portable multi-gas detectors with at least CO, O2, and combustible gas in them. Was wondering if there is 1 brand out there that more departments are using, or are better than others. Being volunteer, like everyone else, funds are limited.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidsla View Post
    Any VFD or Career departments out there. We are looking at getting 1 or 2 portable multi-gas detectors with at least CO, O2, and combustible gas in them. Was wondering if there is 1 brand out there that more departments are using, or are better than others. Being volunteer, like everyone else, funds are limited.
    Most detectors come standard with

    CO - Carbon Monoxide - Most Commonly encountered toxic gas

    H2S - Hydrogen Sulfide - Sewer Gas - A regular occurance if you have sewers or sewer problems

    O - Oxygen - If you monitor for combustible gasses and you should - you have to monitor for oxygen

    LEL - Combustible Gas

    Occassionally you'll see the H2S sensor exchanged with another type of sensor that is more common in your response area, but it is a good one to monitor for, due to its relatively low PEL, and is frequently occurring in places with microbial action in water.

    I've used RAE systems, Drager, and several other. The RAE systems stuff seems to work best for fire service applications. They respond to frequent on/off's well, and don't require tons of calibration. The Dragers are great if you are doing a ton of monitoring, but we had a lot of trouble with the combustible gas sensors wearing out quickly.

    You can get a cheap single gas sensor that requires not maintenance, just replace it every two years for less than 175. Good Luck

  3. #3
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    You can't go past BW Technologies for price and ease of use....
    Luke

  4. #4
    Forum Member SFD1012's Avatar
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    Our department uses the crowcon tetra. It is a four gas meter with interchangable modules. Very portable came with it's own bottle of gas to perform in house calibration.

  5. #5
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    We have an MSA Orion on our vollie department that I like. My career department's Haz-Mat team uses a combination of Industrial Scientific and RAE. Any of the three seem to be good set-ups.

    I hate to make an assumption, but have you also looked into the other costs of these meters? Sensors have to be changed out periodically and calibration gas and fittings are going to cost you some money along the way.

    At the same time, do you have the guys who know what they're doing with meters?

  6. #6
    Forum Member mdcook's Avatar
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    Post Multi gas meters

    The department I am on uses a MSA Solaris. It works good for a small handheld unit, but it does have its limitations. With out the extra battery operated wand pump attachment, it is just a passive monitor that can take upwards of a minute to stabilize the reading and you are limited as to where you can place it based on your own reach. The wand would add reach, up or down, if attached to a broom handle or some thing like that.
    The county haz mat team I am on uses MultiRAE 5P. This has the standard 4 sensors (CO, O2, LEL, H2S) along with a Photo Ionization Detector (PID) for measuring the level, in parts per million, of Volitle Organic Compounds (VOC). These work very well with their built in pump and are easy to use in a level A suit. The also have around 40 correction factors loaded into it so you can set the units for the actual chemical you are measuring and it will do the correction factor math for you.
    Both units need a monthly calibration, but it is a simple procedure.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

  7. #7
    Forum Member kprsn1's Avatar
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    Anyone using the MSA Altair?
    SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
    Told my wife I'm at work. Told my boss I'm sick. I'm really at the fire station.
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