This paper investigates the adequacy of current gas monitoring techniques to adequately detect spontaneous combustion in underground coalmines. Despite being in the 21st century spontaneous combustion continues to occur in underground coalmines sometimes being detected only at a very advanced stage. Control of the incident is often then very expensive and time consuming. The adequacy needs to be assessed not only from the point of view of the analysis technique be it tube bundle, gas chromatograph or real time sensor but also the number, location and sampling frequency of the monitoring locations. Recommendations are made to optimise monitoring processes and recognise limitations of current techniques.