Gas detection is required under many different circumstances, and this has been highlighted to us recently in a couple of unusual examples. Crowcon Gas-Pro has twice appeared on television in recent days, and in both cases, being used to ensure the safety of the presenters and camera crew. However, two very different stories were being told.
In UKTV’s “Forbidden History” programme, presenter Jamie Theakston is exploring the truth and fiction about oracles, the mysterious figures from Greek and Roman history who reputedly spoke the word of the gods. About 10 minutes into the programme, the team descends into an ancient labyrinth of tunnels to find the river Styx, across which (according to legend) lies Hades. Here, the rich and powerful of ancient Rome would travel to ask questions of the oracle. The tunnels, which had been sealed off for decades, are long, narrow, and go deep under ground. The present a definite confined space; oxygen could be depleted; hydrogen sulphide is serious concern because of local geological conditions; the importance of a gas monitor is clear.
In the other news item, a team from ABC News’ Good Morning America visit Iceland to report on the eruption of Bardarbunga volcano. The volcano began erupting in September last year, and the eruption continues, 6 months on. The team can’t get too close to the crater because of the concentration of toxic gases present. They set up some distance off and down wind, using a drone to get spectacular close-up views of the eruption. Even though they are out in the open, the team still need a gas monitor to protect themselves in case a change in wind direction sends the sulphorous cloud their way.
Often when we think of gas detection, we think of heavy industry or utilities application, or possibly more specialist manufacturing or even research laboratories. It is interesting to see illustrated so vividly how the potential for encountering gas-related hazards can exist in many, more varied situations.