Rules and regulations

Here you find an overview of the current regulatory framework for the use of gas detectors.

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F Gas Regulation (effective July 2006)

European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No. 842/2006. Concerns HFCs and other fluorinated greenhouse gases, but not ammonia or carbon dioxide. Affects all installations falling under the requirements, including also existing installations. Legally binding, all EC and EFTA countries have to comply with the regulation and must establish rules for penalties applicable to infringements.

EN378: 2008, Part 1-4 (effective February 2008)

Applies to all types of refrigerants and, among other things, deals with leakage detection in engine rooms, pump rooms and any other premises (known as occupied spaces) where people may congregate. Examples of such spaces are shops, production facilities, cold storage rooms, etc. The charge limit above which gas detection equipment must be installed is > 50kg for ammonia, and for all other refrigerants > 25kg. Gas detection may be required for smaller charges if practical limits are reached (see table p. 16). Applies to all new installations as well as installations where considerable renovations have been made. Effective in all EC and EFTA countries.

National legislation for workplace design

In general, all EC and EFTA countries have extensive legislation concerning personnel safety, stating among other things that buildings and workplaces where there is a risk of fire, dangerous leakage, oxygen deficiency or the like resulting in personal injuries must be designed so as to avoid and diminish the negative outcome of an incident. One of the precautions often recommended is that a gas detection system be installed.

National legislation on gases

All EC and EFTA countries have some legislation concerning toxic gases and the specific measures to be taken. Ammonia is typically a toxic gas. The legislation usually recommends a risk analysis in order to avoid and diminish the risks. Typically, recommendations are made to install gas detection equipment.

National legislation for occupational exposure limits

In general, all EC and EFTA countries have legislation concerning the maximum exposure of humans to hazardous gases. Usually, certain maximum exposure times for certain concentrations and gases are what is regulated.

ATEX Directive (effective May 2003)

The ATEX Directive concerns explosion-classified spaces. ATEX applies to the environment in which a refrigeration system is installed and not to the actual refrigerant in the system. When working with systems containing flammable gases, certain specific competence is required of the technicians. The building owner/user of the premises is responsible for ATEX-classifying the space concerned. The classification is divided into zones differing between an explosive atmosphere consisting of gas, vapour or aerosol (Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2) and where an explosive environment is comprised of combustible dust (Zone 20, Zone 21 and Zone 22).

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