Portable gas detectors are often used in emergency situations. They are designed to be taken out into the field and therefore have to be rugged and strong enough to withstand a range of adverse conditions, such as storms and harsh weather. These devices are essential to containing the spread of hazardous chemical leaks and preventing explosions and poisoning through substances in the atmosphere.

For these essential instruments to perform at a high standard, it is important that the delicate and advanced technology is housed in a tough casing that can be dropped and handled roughly without worries. It is also important for safety workers and even ordinary civilians to be able to use emergency response equipment quickly and easily in any environment. For this end to be achieved, most emergency equipment pieces are fitted with extra large buttons and simple interfaces to allow the most rapid response possible.

The best emergency equipment reaches a fine balance between highly sophisticated technology and the most simple programming and calibration needs. This makes it possible to coordinate a device to detect and analyse a specific substance or optimise the portable gas detector for personal protection in hazardous situations. Protecting the safety worker from the gas threat is also paramount in any emergency situations. Many devices feature extended sample draw pumps that allow the worker to remain at a safe distance at all times.

Although most emergency atmospheric instruments are hand held devices that can be attached to the body of an emergency response worker to provide superior close range atmospherical readings, some area monitoring models are also available. These robust and waterproof portable gas detectors are easily moved around the environment to analyse the greater atmospherical quality.