Sensor Electronics, a gas detection equipment specialist based in Minnesota, has installed uninterrupted oxygen (O2) sensors for Saint Paul-based gas distribution corporation, Oxygen Service Company, which the business states are “working backwards.”

These electrochemical sensors continuously monitor gas levels in the labs and feed real-time O2 readings to a digital readout monitor in percentage levels, in order to ensure employee safety.

Colour-coded traffic light LEDs react immediately to potentially dangerous gas levels – emitting a green light when levels remain between 19.5%-21.5%, and turning amber and then red if the levels drop. If the devices emit a red light, evacuation alarms will be activated and an air-supply fan will flood the labs with outside air.

Oxygen Service Company handles nitrogen (N2), argon (Ar), helium (He) and carbon dioxide (CO2) plus acetylene, propane and specialty gas mixtures on a daily basis, and whilst these gases aren’t necessarily toxic, a gas leak could flood the closed labs, displace the O2 and unknowingly suffocate the workers without warning.

Bruce Nasser, head of Oxygen Service Company’s laboratory operations, explained, “The danger isn’t from too little O2 but potentially lethal concentrations of other gases. A leak of some other laboratory gas could absorb enough O2 to endanger our staff.”