The Difference Between Bump Testing and Calibration of Gas Detectors

Bump testing is a process carried out to ensure a detector is reading to the anticipated tolerance and sets off the appropriate warning indicators. This is a simple process which can be carried out with a low level of training (see video for reference) and does not encompass any calibration activity.

The only items needed to carry out a bump test are:

  1. Disposable bump test gas cylinder
  2. Cylinder regulator, hose and detector cap

The process of bump testing a fixed gas detection system can be thought of as the equivalent of carrying out regular tests on a fire alarm system. To undertake this process, bump test kits can be acquired through IGD.

IGD Bump Test Kits.

IGD Bump Test Kits.

Why Bump Test a Fixed Gas Detection System?

While there is much written on how and why one should bump test portable detectors, there are few articles which discuss fixed systems.

Bump testing a fixed gas detection system involves largely the same principles. Users should carry out testing out a random detector of their fixed detection system every week or month, much as they would with a fire system. This action offers a number of advantages for the end user:

  1. Assurance that the system is effectively detecting the target gas
  2. Increased confidence
  3. Enables the site to exercise its Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) in a manner aligned with the fire system
  4. Offers early alerts for any problems

During bump testing of detectors, each site will need to develop an appropriate SOP to follow. IGD is able to offer advice and support for end users to determine the most suitable and practical methods.

This is important. as an example the most effective method for a laboratory complex to follow will differ from that which is appropriate for a waste recycling site or plant room. All applications have their own requirements. It should be noted that bump testing is not a replacement for periodic calibration and service visits, and these should still be carried out.

How to Bump Test IGD Fixed Gas Detection System

The below video demonstrates common advice that will assist you and your team in bump testing IGD protection systems. The video also discusses the difference between calibration and bump testing.

In addition to this, the video offers guidance on how to acknowledge, silence and reset alarms. The video is taken from IGD’s Online Training Academy, where other ‘how to’ videos and theory courses can be accessed. It is also possible to buy bump tests kits online here, if required.

Bump Testing Gas Detectors

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by International Gas Detectors Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit International Gas Detectors Ltd.


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