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Tim Jones from RPS Group looks at the available guidance on the quantity and siting of flame and gas detectors

FLAME and gas detection plays an important role within a structured process safety management system, in order to assure the protection of people, the environment, assets and corporate reputation. Detection is a function of both the hardware’s ability to function on demand and detectors being located in the ‘right’ place.


Historically, there has been a significant effort invested in ensuring detectors function on demand and less focus given to their positioning (termed flame and gas detector mapping). This is evidenced by data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Offshore Release Database, which indicates that a large proportion of releases go undetected – 36% of major and 69% of significant gas releases. Should these releases ignite or be toxic, the consequences can be devastating.

There has also been limited guidance on how many detector...

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