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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

07/20/11 Explosion Proof and Intrinsically Safe Fundamentals

Hazardous locations represent some of the most demanding and dangerous work environments in the world today. These work areas are designated as hazardous by regulating bodies such as OSHA due to several characteristics typical of such locations. These characteristics can be the enclosed nature of the workspace which allows volatile gases or vapors to become concentrated, the presence of flammable or volatile petrochemicals, or the presence of volatile fine particulates just to name a few, each of which can create an explosion or fire hazard.

Prevention is the most important aspect of controlling the risk of fire or explosion in hazardous locations. Many of the instances where explosions or fire have occurred in the industrial or commercial workplace are the result of what is known as inadvertent ignition. Inadvertent ignition occurs when something as simple as the spark from a light switch or the heat from a lamp ignites volatile compounds or materials, resulting in fire or explosion. All electrical devices regardless of their type produce some potential for spark or heat. As most hazardous work areas necessitate the use of electrical equipment in their operations, controlling the possibility of inadvertent ignition these electrical devices present is critical to the safety of the workplace.

In regards to illuminating hazardous locations, control and prevention is practiced through the use of what is termed explosion proof or intrinsically safe lighting. These types of luminaries are designed to prevent inadvertent ignition caused by the sparks or heat that could possibly be produced by this equipment. This is achieved through special designs, voltage limitations and heat controls that reduce or remove the possibility of sparks, heat or flame created by these lamps.

Intrinsically safe and explosion proof lighting equipment are not the same and each fulfills a different role according to its ratings. Ratings determine the suitability of electrical devices for use in hazardous locations according to type of environment each hazardous location represents. Ratings are represented by Classes, Divisions, Groups, and or Zones, and each carry within them differing levels represented by a numbering system. Thus, explosion proof lighting equipment will be rated for use in Class-1 Division-1 or Class-1 Division-2 environments for example. Each rating level represents a different type of environment according to the types of hazardous materials and conditions that may be encountered. Therefore, if an area is designated a Class-1 Division-2 work area, then only equipment rated as Class-1 Division-2 may be used within it. This means that not only must explosion proof luminaries be rated as explosion proof, but they must also carry the proper ratings according to the environment they will be used in. As a result, just because a lamp is rated as explosion proof, does not mean it is suitable for use in all hazardous locations.

Intrinsically safe luminaries are of a different order than explosion proof luminaries. Explosion proof luminaries are typically higher powered and are generally designed to contain ignitions or explosions within their housings long enough to allow any heated escaping gases to cool below ignition temperatures before they can exit the lamp. Intrinsically safe luminaries on the other hand are typically low powered and incapable or producing enough heat or sparks to produce any ignition at all.

Explosion proof and intrinsically safe lighting equipment is rated and approved by accredited bodies such as Underwriters Laboratories. Once equipment is approved, it must carry somewhere on its housing labeling which certifies this approval. Any equipment sold, marketed or represented as suitable for hazardous locations, regardless of the manufacturers claims, must carry this approval or it is not in conformance with regulatory laws and guidelines and thus not safe for use in hazardous locations.

This is little more than a primer covering the very basics of explosion proof lighting. Anyone interested in learning more should consult with OSHA or the National Electrical Codes which are published with the National Fire Codes series produced by the National Fire Protection Association.

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