Fixed Gas Detection Surveys: What to consider?


Free site surveys

All fixed gas customers are entitled to a free-of-charge, no obligation site visit, where Shawcity will carry out a survey of their existing system (applying gas, if necessary) to ensure it is fully operational and performing as required. Contact us on: to discuss your requirements.

Looking to install a fixed gas detection system? The best place to start is a site survey

There are many aspects to consider when looking to install a fixed gas detection system, and the best place to start is with a site survey. Considering all of the details thoroughly at the outset will help to optimise the system performance whilst ensuring the logistics of the installation run smoothly.

While there are no specific standards to meet regarding the survey or the location of equipment, there are guidance documents available. BS EN 60079-29-2 2007, for example, provides a comprehensive overview of the selection, installation, use and service of systems.

Make it safe and accessible

From a safety perspective, it is good practice to install the main control panel for a gas detection system in an adjacent room (or outdoors in some circumstances), away from the environment where the detectors will be located, whilst also being easily accessible for servicing.

Gas detectors will almost always need to be inspected during a service and re-calibration visit, so once the gases likely to be present have been identified, the correct mounting height is determined. Considering how they will be accessed safely before choosing a final location is key, especially if they need to be installed at height. Products rated for ATEX and SIL may also be required, depending on the environment.

Don't underestimate cabling

Cabling routes are another consideration. Finding suitable cable routes can be challenging (especially in older buildings) and can have a major effect on the duration of an installation.

Cable length for both power and signal strength requirements is also key as it’s easy to underestimate.

It is also important to remember that cabling must be installed so it remains protected against mechanical or malicious damage. The smallest cuts or abrasions can affect the performance of a cable and lead to compromised system performance.

Power is easily the most overlooked element of planning a fixed gas detection system

Typically, a non-switched fused spur with adequate ventilation should be made available to power any system. In some cases, the system will be critical to the client’s premises and the back-up batteries in the panel or power supply units may not suffice, so an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) may be required. The autonomy time (usually requested by the client) will often determine the size of the UPS and it should be located near the control panel for easy service access.

Servicing and maintainence of your system

Ongoing servicing and maintenance of the system will be required following installation. Service intervals will depend on the types of sensors installed, but typically a six-monthly check of the system with calibration gases is recommended. Full Service Plans usually offer better value for money and include emergency call-outs and telephone support cover in case of emergencies.

This level of planning and factoring in site-specific environmental factors will help to ensure a safe and efficient installation process and maintenance programme for both the customer and their contractor.

To speak to a specialist about your fixed gas detection system, call Shawcity on 01367 899422 or email

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