Flame and Gas Detectors for High Risk Industries

To meet the safety requirements of these facilities, reliable Optical Flame Detectors can be installed to provide, even under these harsh conditions, fast and reliable fire detection, and Open Path Flammable or Toxic Gas Detectors can be used to detect the presence of any gas released before the concentration reaches a level which will cause fire, explosion or risk to personnel. 

These flame and gas detection and monitoring systems are able to work at the highest levels in spite of extreme conditions, remaining unaffected by different climates and providing a constantly high level of performance and reliability. 

It is due to all these conditions that the Oil & Gas industry requires detectors to be tested, certified and therefore carry the necessary approvals, to ensure that they are of the highest standard and ‘fit for purpose’. 

Some key approvals required are hazardous area Ex approvals (FM, CSA, ATEX, IECEx, Inmetro, CU TR), functional approvals (FM, EN), and reliability approval (SIL2 TUV). 


There are various optical flame detection technologies which, while working on the same basic approach, detect at different optical wavelengths and therefore detect different types of fires. 

The two main types of optical flame detection used in the Oil & Gas industry are combined UV/IR and Triple infrared (IR3) detection. 

UV/IR Detection 

UV/IR Optical Flame Detection is dual spectrum and uses a solar blind UV sensor with a high signal-tonoise ratio and a narrow band IR sensor. UV/IR detectors are fast, especially in response to flash fires, and have good false alarm immunity. 

The UV sensor is a good but overly sensitive fire detector, so the IR sensor which works at 2.7µ or 4.3µ spectral ranges which are characteristic of a fire, complements this and provides the confirmation of a real fire.  The end result is very fast fire detection with high reliability. 

Triple IR (IR3) Detection 

IR3 Optical Flame Detection uses three IR sensors to monitor the chosen area, where one sensor detects the infrared radiation emitted by the hot CO2 product of a fire and the other two reference sensors are sensitive to background radiation at a longer and shorter wavelengths, both analyzed to ensure that the pattern detected matches that of a real fire situation. 

IR3 detectors can detect at very long distances and have excellent false alarm immunity. 

This technology, which was patented by Spectrex in the 1990’s and was a major breakthrough in modern optical flame detection , allows less detectors to be employed for a specific area, saving cost, and the detectors can be placed in the harshest of environments without being triggered by the extreme environmental factors. 

An IR3 detector can detect a standard 1ft2 (0.1m2) gasoline fire at a distance of up to 215ft (65m). 

IR3 vs UV/IR 

The choice here depends, as always, on the application. For high risk industries, they need the most robust detector that is the least susceptible to costly and misleading false alarms. 

The Triple IR technique has the highest immunity to such false alarms and offers much greater detection distances (for a 1ft2 (0.1m2) gasoline fire, 215ft (65m) compared to only 65ft (20m) for UV/IR type). As a result, they are widely specified for high risk applications. 

In addition, in large or open areas, this greater detection distance is also a means to reduce detector numbers (including cabling, control panel loops etc) and thereby the overall cost. 

However, there are many other lower risk applications where distance is less of a factor, where UV/IR detectors are more than adequate for the job and where their lower cost is also an attraction. 

The Spectrex Sharp Eye range of optical flame detectors includes a wide variety of technologies to offer a solution for any application with top performance and minimal false alarms. IR3, Multi IR, UV/IR and ultra fast response versions are among the Sharp Eye 40/40 range of detectors. 


Open Path Gas Detection, also known as Line-of-Sight Gas Detection, is a reliable method of flammable gas detection able to measure gas concentrations at distances of up to 660ft (200m). Open Path Gas Detectors are able to detect these flammable gases at low concentrations, as well as high concentrations. 

When a gas leak occurs, a gas cloud is formed with the concentration reducing as the edges of the cloud are reached, so any part of the gas cloud can be detected by open path gas detectors. 

It is important to detect a gas hazard before it causes a fire, so that neutralizing agents can be deployed before dangerous concentrations are reached. Open Path Gas Detectors allow for wide area coverage and a very high speed of response. 

The detectors comprise a transmitter and a receiver, placed at a predetermined distance from one another. The transmitter projects a beam of light radiation to the receiver. When flammable gas passes through the beam, it absorbs the light radiation thereby reducing the signal at the receiver. 

MACEDEN INTEGRATED SERVICES provides flame detection, gas detection and hazard mitigation systems for manned and unmanned offshore drilling platforms around the world. 

The company designs, manufactures and commissions SIL-2 capable fire and gas safety solutions to protect personnel, equipment and processes in settings where the risks and potential costs of fire are high. 

Products include flame detectors, combustible gas detectors, toxic gas detectors and explosion-proof smoke detectors, as well as the certified Eagle Quantum Premier® (EQP) Fire and Gas Safety Controller for integrated detection, notification and suppression control.  

Flame detectors certified to global and offshore standards for your safety 

MACEDEN INTEGRATED SERVICES products carry performance and safety certifications from globally recognised third-party testing agencies and approval bodies. The X3301 Multi-spectrum Infrared Flame Detector is performance certified to FM 3260, EN 54 and VNIIPO to respond a wide range of fuel sources. It also carries DNV/MED Type approval for deck installation offshore and is NFPA 72 compliant. The optional Weather Shield minimizes accumulation of condensation, rain and snow on the optics of X-series optical flame detector to reduce weather-induced fault conditions.  

Combustible and toxic gas detectors with global certifications, safety awards 

Combustible gas and toxic gas detectors from MACEDEN INTEGRATED SERVICES use a variety of technologies to provide reliable fixed detection solutions that keep people and operations safe. Detectors measure gases via acoustic, infrared (point and line-of-sight), catalytic bead and electrochemical technologies.  

Calibration and configuration can be done through a variety of displays and gas control panels.  

For hydrocarbon gas detection, the PointWatch Eclipse® PIRECL IR detector carries life-safety performance approval to ATEX EN60079-29-1 as well as FM and CSA approvals. The fast-response version has been certified to FM, CSA, IECEx and ATEX requirements for detecting methane or butane in as little as 1.5 seconds.  PIRECL Eclipse detectors are constructed of rugged IP66/67 stainless steel construction and certified SIL-2 capable.  

The FlexSight™ LS2000 line-of-sight IR gas detector provides continuous monitoring of combustible hydrocarbon gas concentrations between two points with infrared technology while enduring harsh environments. Units are globally certified with SIL, FM, CSA, ATEX, IECEx, CE, DNV and other approvals.  

The FlexSonic® Acoustic Gas Leak Detector provides instantaneous response to pressurised gas, detecting leaks without gas contact. Performance is unaffected by wind direction or leak location, and a patented “learn function” customizes detection to ignore ultrasonic false alarm sources.  

MACEDEN INTEGRATED SERVICES line-of-sight and acoustic gas detection products are both exida safety award winners.  

The GT3000 Electrochemical Toxic Gas Detector is designed with sensors to detect each of these toxic gases: hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, chlorine or sulfur dioxide. The unit is certified SIL- 2 capable and has been third-party-tested to the IP66 rating.  

System controller integrates detection, notification and suppression with ease 

The Eagle Quantum Premier® (EQP) Fire and Gas Safety Controller is an addressable-loop, fault-tolerant safety controller. Compliant to NFPA 72 per FM Approvals, the controller supports MACEDEN INTEGRATED SERVICES flame and gas detectors as well as third-party devices.  

The controller is certified for annunciation and releasing, and it has the capability to communicate with process control and communication systems. The EQP is hazardous-location rated by FM, CSA, ATEX and IECEx, is FM performance approved, and CE marked. The result is a fire- and gas-safety controller that can incorporate smoke detection, flame detection, and combustible and toxic gas detection, as well as other detection technologies for high-risk applications into a single safety system.  

The Eagle Quantum Premier