A gas detector is a device that detects the presence of gases in an area, often as part of a safety system. This type of equipment is used to detect a gas leak or other emissions and can interface with a control system so a process can be automatically shut down. A gas detector can sound an alarm to operators in the area where the leak is occurring, giving them the opportunity to leave. This type of device is important because there are many gases that can be harmful to organic life, such as humans or animals. Gas detectors can be used to detect combustible, flammable and toxic gases, and oxygen depletion. This type of device is used widely in industry and can be found in locations, such as on oil rigs, to monitor manufacture processes and emerging technologies such as photovoltaic. They may be used in firefighting.
Gas leak detection is the process of identifying potentially hazardous gas leaks by sensors. These sensors usually employ an audible alarm to alert people when a dangerous gas has been detected. Exposure to toxic gases can also occur in operations such as painting, fumigation, fuel filling, construction, excavation of contaminated soils, landfill operations, entering confined spaces, etc. Common sensors include combustible gas sensors, photoionization detectors, infrared point sensors, ultrasonic sensors, electrochemical gas sensors, and semiconductor sensors. More recently, infrared imaging sensors have come into use. All of these sensors are used for a wide range of applications and can be found in industrial plants, refineries, pharmaceutical manufacturing, fumigation facilities, paper pulp mills, aircraft and shipbuilding facilities, hazmat operations, waste-water treatment facilities, vehicles, indoor air quality testing and homes.