Residential Security Vertical Solutions

Gas Detection In Commercial And Institutional Buildings

In most European countries, commercial and institutional buildings are not governed by strict regulations for gas detection. Gas detection is often not well understood or applied in these applications.

There are several challenges to implementing gas detection solutions in commercial and institutional buildings. Many gas detection systems operate independently of building management systems (BMS) or fire and smoke detection systems. This makes them cumbersome to manage and maintain. Building managers and fire engineers need flexible and scalable solutions that are easy to use and maintain.

Gas hazards in commercial and institutional buildings

Gas monitoring is critical in facilities like hospitals where oxygen is stored and used as part of normal daily operations. Storage facilities are another area of concern where oxygen leaks can increase the risk of fire or explosion.

Besides hospitals, light industrial plants use gases for production systems, welding or inert blankets. Industrial environments have the added complication of dust, water and other gases that might be present in the environment, which can be damaging to sensitive detectors and electronics.

Underground car parks also can pose a risk. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which is particularly dangerous because it is invisible and has no odor. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-powered vehicles may use underground parking areas, which adds the risk of an explosive atmosphere caused by an LPG leak.

What are the challenges?

Detection systems are critical for keeping workers and the public safe from toxic and flammable gases. Yet, regulations governing gas detection are not always in place, nor are they consistent from one area to another. In the absence of clear regulations, the onus is on facility managers and fire engineers to implement robust systems that will provide adequate warning of gas leaks. As such, it is critical to select the right technology partner that can advise on the best approach for their application.

Many facilities have smoke and fire detection systems, but gas detection systems are less widespread. If they are installed, they tend to be independent of other building systems making them more cumbersome to manage, thus potentially increasing the risk that a gas leak may go unnoticed. An integrated approach covering fire and smoke detection, gas detection, and building management could help facilities manage their risks comprehensively.

Hospitals and light industrial plants are not static. Wards get changed from one service to another, and new wings are added. Light industrial facilities also expand and can increase the volume and type of gases they use over time. Many legacy detection systems are not flexible or scalable, lacking the adaptability to meet the changing needs of an organization. Newer systems from leading technology suppliers can overcome these shortfalls.

Selecting the right gas detection solutions

Honeywell supplies gas detection solutions for commercial and light industrial applications, including parking garages and hospitals. There are three main solutions applicable to these environments:


The PARK system provides CO monitoring for parking garages. This gas detection system can sound audible alarms to warn people of danger. It can activate common ventilation systems when the CO level exceeds safe limits. A PARK2000 panel can manage up to 32 CO detectors, divided into up to two zones, and the PARK5000 model can manage up to 80 CO detectors, divided into up to five zones.


The Notifier NFG-8 system meets Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 1 using 4-20mA gas detectors and is ideally suited to the light industrial environment. This solution allows for three different threshold limits and several output options. For example, NFG-8 can control ventilation, activate warning signs, and communicate with third-party BMS devices.


The AM4000G is an addressable system that can cover the needs of an entire building, including its parking garage. Up to 396 sensors can be connected to the AM4000G on four loops using the reliable two-wire Fieldbus communication. This solution allows various hazardous conditions to be managed independently using complex cause-and-effect scenarios.

Key benefits

Benefit Description
Flexibility Honeywell gas detection solutions can scale from small systems for specific applications to large addressable solutions that cover all the needs of an entire building. They can operate as standalone systems for gas detection or integrate with other systems like building management or fire and smoke detection.
Reliability Honeywell is a global supplier of gas detection technology to buildings and parking garages. Experience with multiple customers across multiple industries and locations gives Honeywell unique insight into how products are used and enables solution designs that meet the needs of customers. Honeywell offers reliable gas detection systems that deliver consistent performance using the best available technology.
Rated casings Honeywell supplies both IP55 and ATEX-rated casings. IP55 casings are certified against dust or moisture ingress while ATEX versions can be used in dangerous environments, depending on the specific needs of the area. These solutions cover the full spectrum of needs for light industrial applications where some areas require rated casings and others do not.
Mobile application for calibration and maintenance A mobile application from Honeywell enables users to perform calibration, programming changes, and maintenance on detectors. This tool is easy to use and saves technicians time, especially when performing regular tasks like bump tests or limit changes.

Working with a technology partner

Many management teams for commercial and institutional buildings like hospitals and light industrial plants lack detailed knowledge of gas detection systems. It is advisable to work with a technology partner who understands their solutions and the environment in which these solutions are applied.

Gas detectors must be installed correctly to provide the desired protection. For example, CO detectors should be installed at an equivalent height to the average human. This is because CO has a similar density to air. It does not accumulate at floor or ceiling level; therefore, detection must occur at the height of most significant risk, where humans can breathe in the toxic gas.

All gas detectors experience drift over time. Their readings will become less accurate unless they are regularly checked and calibrated. Regulations do not always cover these critical aspects of the long-term effectiveness of gas detection systems. Trusted technology suppliers have the technical expertise to advise users on their system’s appropriate maintenance and calibration schedules.


Commercial and institutional buildings are not well regulated regarding gas leak detection, but this does not mean the risks are low. Gas leaks can cause serious incidents, like fires and injuries, including the loss of life.

Honeywell offers gas detection solutions for commercial and institutional buildings, including hospitals, parking garages, and light industrial plants. Its team of experts and channel partners can help advise on the best solutions to solve difficult problems.

Click here to find out more about Honeywell products.

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