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Fixed vs Portable Gas Detectors

co2 fixed and portable gas detectors

Fixed vs. Portable Gas Detectors

Both fixed and portable gas detectors play an important role in gas detection and safety. Fixed gas detectors are useful for monitoring areas where hazardous gases may be present on an ongoing basis. Portable gas detectors are useful for personal protection and for monitoring in areas that are not covered by fixed detectors.

Fixed or Wall-Mounted Gas Detectors

fixed co2 safety monitor

What makes a fixed gas detector unique is that these devices are usually hard-wired, installed on-location, and placed directly near the gas source.

Businesses that typically utilize fixed CO2 detectors include restaurants, breweries, beverage dispensing areas, cultivation facilities, industrial environments, and safety industries.

Additionally, fixed/wall mounted devices have the ability to activate relays and trigger third party systems like ventilation, fire panels, or building management/security systems. We tend to explain that fixed detectors work like a fire or smoke alarm. When a gas leak occurs the monitor sets off an alarm that is audible and visual notifying personnel that a hazard has occurred.

An accurate and reliable Fixed/Wall Mount CO2 monitor like the CM-7000 CO2 Multi-Sensor System features both audible and visual alarms and relays to trigger third party systems like a shut-off valve, exhaust system, or fire panel.

More importantly, these fixed/wall-mount detectors should have alarm levels that meet OSHA and fire code regulations and include properly mounted signage to indicate potential hazard spaces.

Fixed or wall-mounted gas detector sensors should be mounted at different heights from the floor depending on the gas. For example, a CO2 sensor should be mounted 12 inches from the floor, while an oxygen detector sensor should be mounted approximately 48 inches from the floor. The display unit should be at eye level upon entry to the space or in a managers office.

Fixed and Wall Mounted Gas Detector Pros:

  • 24/7 continuous detection for gas monitoring
  • Louder audible and brighter visual alarms
  • Meets OSHA requirements for many applications
  • Relays can trigger an exhaust fan or control panel
  • Less likely to be broken or lost by employees

Fixed and Wall Mounted Gas Detector Cons:

  • Non-portable
  • Higher cost to monitor multiple areas
  • Hard wired power supply

Portable or Handheld Gas Detectors

portable gas detector

Portable or handheld gas detectors are useful for employees working in temporarily hazardous areas or need protection as they move around the job. Portable safety detectors are designed to warn the wearer of the device when gas levels exceed safety limits.

Workers who use portable gas detectors depend on them to sound an alert immediately upon entering an unsafe area. They are used in breweries, gas distribution centers, cultivation facilities, gas creation sites, mines, underground or anywhere a worker could be exposed to potentially dangerous gases.

When purchasing a portable or handheld gas detector, look for quick gas readings, audible, visual and vibrating alarms, data logging, rechargeable batteries and the ability to easily test them daily to verify they are in working order.

It is important to remember that different gases have different weights. For example, gases like carbon dioxide, propane, butane and refrigerants are heavier than air and will settle in basements or underground.

Portable / Handheld Gas Detector Pros:

  • Personal safety device when worn
  • Continuous gas monitoring
  • Audible and visual alarms
  • Rechargeable 

Portable / Handheld Gas Detector Cons:

  • Relies on battery for power supply
  • Hazard only known after entering a space
  • More likely to be lost, stolen or broken
  • Employee "forgetfulness"

Every company should have its own policies and procedures to help drive employee education, awareness, performance, and safety.

Fixed vs. Portable Gas Detector eBook


In this eBook, "Your Guide to Selecting Fixed vs. Portable Gas Detection Devices,CO2Meter provides key insights into the various types of gas detection devices throughout the field. In doing so, customers worldwide will be able to get an in-depth analysis of how to select the proper fixed vs. portable solution and understand which sensing technology is best for their overall use case, environment or industry requirements.


  • Difference between Fixed vs. Portable Gas Detectors
  • OSHA Workplace Standards and Requirements
  • Single vs Multi-Gas Sensing Solutions
  • Sensing Features, Capabilities, and Common Terms
  • Gas Detectors by Industry and Application

Click here to download CO2Meter eBook on Fixed vs. Portable Gas Detection

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