A gas detector can save your life but only if it works properly! The good thing is that it takes just a few minutes to check out whether it works by conducting a bump test.
Gas detector sensors and alarms are set to respond to the exposure of gas in your environment. You can conduct a bump test by briefly exposing your gas detector to a concentration of gas that is slightly greater than the alarm’s set points. You should be able to hear the alarms and read the screens if you are exposed to gas but only if your gas detector is functioning properly. The bump test is easy to perform and in less than a minute, you will know whether the gas detector is responding or if the gas path is blocked.
You should also manually check if the audible and visual alarms are activated and you should be able to calibrate the readings that are not at the required limits.
You need to also conduct external checks of your gas detector.
- the sensor filters to make sure that they are not blocked with dirt, mud, chemicals, or any other unusual substance that will prevent the sensors from responding to gases in the atmosphere
- the external housing to see if there are any missing screws or cracks in the housing or screen
- if there are any missing parts like the clip and the compliance/certification sticker
According to Australian and New Zealand guidelines, [AS/NZ 60079.29.2:2016 Selection, installation, use and maintenance of detectors], it is recommended that bump tests should be conducted by the personnel operating the detector and that the tests should be done each day before use.
“Gas monitors used for the purpose of atmospheric monitoring within a confined space should be maintained and used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and warnings as referred to in AS/NZS 60079” [AS 2865:2009 Confined Space Safe Work Australia Exposure Standards].
Check your gas detector every time before you need to use it and stay safe.