An August 2022 safety advisory from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that firefighters responding to natural gas and propane incidents be trained on multi-gas monitors to ensure their safety, the safety of other firefighters and the safety of civilians during firefighting operations.
What are multi-gas monitors?
Multi-gas monitors are devices used to sample and monitor the air to assess what type of respiratory protection and other personal protective equipment are needed and to determine isolation zones. They are used by firefighters are commonly calibrated to detect oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and various flammable gases.
NIOSH safety advisory
The NIOSH safety advisory — Understanding Multi-gas Monitor Readings: The Importance of Knowing Your Equipment PDF — recommends that all firefighters be trained to use a multi-gas monitor for detection of hazardous atmospheres caused by low oxygen and dangerous concentrations of toxic gases.
NIOSH also recommends that firefighters know how to use gas detection equipment to determine the lower and upper explosive limits of flammable gases and vapors.
An August 2022 Firehouse article provides a basic overview of atmospheric monitoring concepts, sensor technologies, meter-reading procedures and common metering pitfalls.
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