The silent killer carbon monoxide may become less of a threat to personal safety if things go wrong in homes, offices and residential buildings with the development of a new detection system.
Flowtech Controls Ltd, at Whitchurch, Shropshire, part of Peerless Gas Controls Group, has brought to the market the Flowtech Wireless CO Protection System (COPS) to detect and cut off carbon monoxide leaks.
The company has already appointed four distributors, Marine Vessel Gas Protection Systems, through Leisure Products at Bolton; Eurodeal Products, Birmingham, focussed on heating and plumbing; in Dublin, Emmrow International Marketing and Magneflo of Solihull which is in the housing associations and local authorities sectors.
The COPS detectors are located around the property to provide visual and audible alarms in the normal manner but the system also send a wireless signal to a panel which controls a shut-off device. This closes the gas supply to prevent a further build-up of either carbon monoxide or other combustible gases.
The valve can not be reset to get gas flowing again until the hazard has been cleared and safety restored. Its use is also being tested by the leisure industry for installation in static holiday caravans, chalets, holiday homes and boats.
The installation of the mechanical control valve is a simple DIY job and does not require a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
The COPS system has a sensor manufactured by a specialist company in Japan and up to 40 sensors can be used through one control panel making it ideal for multi-occupancy premises and also almost eliminating the risk of an explosion in the event of a gas leak.
Simon Simpson, commercial director, of Flowtech Controls, said: “The system has been fully approved by the appropriate authorities. The gas valve can be switched off in the event of an emergency and the mechanical control valve can easily be fitted to interact with the gas meter lever which is turned off by what might be described as ‘an artificial hand.’
Simon said: “We have also developed a smoke detector to go with it and if there is fire on the property the gas is automatically switched off which is a real benefit to firefighters.”
“This is a combination of development work in the UK by Flowtech Controls, the Peerless operation in Shanghai, a Japanese sensor manufacturer and Australian electronics firm Tytronics. All the intellectual property rights have been registered.”
He said trading standards authorities were finding more products coming into the UK from China which did not have the right sensors and failed to comply with European Standard EN50291 although they may be badged to claim there is compliance.
“The first major market to benefit from the system will be the residential environment,” said Simon. “At present there is a reliance on a visual and audible alarm and in some cases individuals may not be physically able to turn off the gas supply or know how to turn it off. The Flowtech Controls system turns it off for them and prevents a further build-up of gas. This COPS system has huge potential.”
For residential protection there is a wired system and a wireless system, both with a choice of either a pulse valve or a mechanical control valve to shut-off the gas supply. Both systems are approved to EN50291 carbon monoxide and EN50194 combustible gases standards.
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