Area monitors are typically set up to create a buffer between workers and potential gas hazards, or as a perimeter around an area where work is being performed that could cause unsafe conditions. Real-time area monitoring requires instrument data to be continuously collected, processed, and delivered. This uninterrupted flow of information ensures access to real-time data from a PC or mobile device anytime and anywhere.
In gas detection, the most important reason for real-time area monitoring information is the ability to act in threatening or emergency situations. Real-time data collection and processing provide instant notifications or email alerts when an area monitor senses combustible gas in an area, for example. In addition, real-time area monitoring provides information for up-to-date reports that can be presented or printed any time they are needed, boosting safety compliance.
When to Use Area Monitoring
Area monitors are commonly used for worker safety during plant shutdowns as part of maintenance programs, and other temporary detection zones where fixed gas detection is not in place. They can be used for confined space applications, as well as perimeter or fence line monitoring and can be easily moved around as situations and work conditions change. In many scenarios, they are used in addition to personal gas detection instruments.
Setting up a Live Area Monitoring Solution
Imagine a unit of an industrial plant with a known low-level gas leak that cannot be fixed until the next plant shutdown. Area monitors can be strategically placed to section off the area from where work is being performed. Continuous monitoring and immediate notification allows safety personnel to react appropriately in case of a gas-related emergency.
Manufacturer recommendations are given for the proper distance between monitors to create a connected and effective safety barrier. These distances vary depending on the environment, as well as the maximum distance of communication between monitors. In addition, those who place the monitors must consider the following:
- The gases likely to be detected
- The behavior of these gases compared to natural air, given the conditions indoors or outdoors
- Where the workers are
- Where the hazards are likely to be
- What the prevailing winds are or what the airflow is like.
Monitoring Hazards from a Distance
The ability to monitor hazardous areas from any location or connected device in real time is invaluable. Pipelines, fence lines, and chemical spills are great examples of ideal situations for real-time area monitoring. Knowing what’s happening at any given moment increases reaction times but also helps responders know what they are facing before heading into harm’s way.
Using a cloud-based monitoring platform connected to wireless area monitors is the easiest way to view real-time area monitor readings. Cloud software is available on any device, anywhere, at any time, providing instant access to live data. With live monitoring software users can:
- View area monitoring status summaries.
- View a live-monitoring map.
- Receive detailed, subscription-based alerts (via SMS text or e-mail).
Real-time area monitoring allows for a more holistic view of environmental conditions with advanced warnings and the ability to react quickly. In addition, the constant availability of data provides staff and employers with a deeper insight into potential hazards – empowering management to make decisions that will improve job safety.
Industrial Scientific Real-Time Area Monitoring
Industrial Scientific Radius® BZ1 Area Monitors communicate with the RGX Gateway, an intrinsically safe transfer point of real-time information. Data is transferred from the instruments via the RGX to iNet® Now live monitoring software using a cellular, wi-fi or Ethernet connection. iNet Now provides real-time text and email alerts for gas hazards, panic, and man-down situations on a PC or mobile device, allowing safety personnel to see and respond to incidents as they happen. The entire wireless solution can be set up in minutes without the need for additional infrastructure or IT support.