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Hazardous Area Classification

“Hazardous Area” is that one where a flammable mixture of gas, vapor, liquid or dust with ambient air is, or may be present, in such amount that requires the control of ignition sources, which includes special attention in the specification, construction, installation and use of electrical equipment.

“Hazardous Area Classification” is a method to review and classify the operating environment as a function of the likelihood of occurrence of a flammable mixture of gas, vapor, liquid or dust; in addition to combustible dust layers. Hazardous area classification should be used to control all ignition sources, and not only those concerned to sparks, arcing and hot surfaces deriving from electrical equipment and systems.

Other ignition sources, besides those from electrical circuits, could also be found throughout the assessed facilities. This includes equipment and piping hot surfaces, static electricity, lightning, balloons, cigarettes, ovens, hot services, vehicles exhaust pipes, tools sparks, etc…

All of these ignition sources must be identified and adequate control measures must be included both in the engineering design as in the operating, maintenance and safety procedures. Some facilities exhibit nearly 30 different ignition sources.