When something stops working, you rarely get a heads-up. When was the last time you flipped a switch, only for your light bulb to give up the ghost? Or have you had a cold, frosty morning this winter when your car simply won’t start?
It’s easy to change a light bulb or call breakdown recovery, and a dark bathroom or sluggish car parked on your drive shouldn’t massively impact your safety.
It’s different when it comes to gas detection. If you’re in an environment with hazardous gases and your gas detection sensor isn’t working, you may not get a heads-up, which could leave you unprotected in the event of a gas leak. It’s down to you to check the functionality of your detection instruments and make sure you’re kept safe.
The main way to ensure your sensor’s correct operation is to do a bump test (find out why it’s so important in our recent blog) or carry out a calibration every six months. However, one downside to these functional checks is that they’ll simply tell you whether or not your instrument is working now – it won’t tell you how long it has left or indeed if it’s on its last legs.
New technology available in Crowcon’s XgardIQ gas detector offers sensitivity testing, which gives you an indication of how much life is left in your sensor. The sensor itself compares the sensitivity reading obtained during routine calibration to the original factory reading and extrapolates this to give a predicted remaining life – if your sensor has less than 10% of its original sensitivity left, it’ll fail the calibration.
Sensitivity testing means you can track the trends over time to make an informed judgement on when to continue using your sensor, and when to replace it. This means your sensor life is maximised, and replacement costs can be kept to a minimum based on actual response data. It goes hand-in-hand with predicting your sensor life.
There are many factors that can affect the operating life of a sensor. To learn more about these, see the articles below by Andy Avenell, Crowcon Application Support Manager in HazardEx.