How To Ensure Your Equipment Is Intrinsically Safe
Mar 01, 2023

Explosion proof Enclosure

How To Ensure Your Equipment Is Intrinsically Safe

Every entrepreneur understands the risks associated with working in a hazardous environment. Even the slightest spark could be sufficient to trigger a fire or explosion. As such, it is essential that the electrical equipment present in the workplace is intrinsically safe. So how do business owners ensure this? Read on to find out.

What makes electrical equipment intrinsically safe?

Fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source must be present to trigger a fire or explosion. An intrinsically safe system is designed to eliminate the ignition source by ensuring the electrical or thermal energy of a particular enclosure is insufficient to cause ignition. This means preventing sparks and keeping temperatures to a level where it is too low to trigger a fire or explosion.

Learn More: All You Need To Know About Intrinsic Safety

Tips to ensure your electrical equipment is intrinsically safe

Now that you have a clear idea of how intrinsically safe equipment functions, let us jump into how to select and ensure your equipment is intrinsically safe.

Tip#1: Know what you need

Knowing is half the battle. If you want to make the correct decision, you must first have the necessary information to make the right choice. Is intrinsically safe equipment sufficient? Or do you also require intrinsically safe junction boxes to create an intrinsic safety barrier?

Intrinsically safe junction boxes limit the amount of energy that can be delivered to a hazardous area, building an intrinsic barrier that minimises the risk of a fire or explosion. Applying intrinsically safe barriers alongside intrinsically safe equipment will ensure better task performance and improved worker safety.

Tip #2: Look for the best intrinsic safety brands on the market

:Look for the best intrinsic safety brands on the market-Intrinsically safe junction box

Market trends are constantly changing, and new, innovative equipment is continuously being developed. Therefore, it is crucial for you to do your research. Check reviews and list the reputable brands that follow all levels of intrinsic safety and offer the latest intrinsically safe equipment. This way, you ensure you always stay up to date and are aware of the best tools that fit your needs.

 Tip #3: Pay attention to the technical data

Beyond researching the best intrinsically safe equipment on the market, you should also carefully study the technical data provided by the manufacturer when choosing suitable equipment for your work, whether you are selecting intrinsically safe junction boxes or hazardous lighting.

You will find essential information in these product data sheets, such as battery thermal capacity, usage temperature, and other safety specifications. This data informs the product’s certifications and the guidelines for use in a hazardous environment. So you must ensure the specifications stated meet your business needs.

Tip #4: Look for the certifications

Look for certifications-Explosion-proof enclosures

Another essential document you should not overlook is the certifications for your intrinsically safe equipment. These documents certify that the products are intrinsically safe for hazardous environments. Familiarise yourself with internationally recognised guidelines like ATEX and IECEx. Understanding what the certifications and ratings mean will help you to select the ideal equipment for your needs.

Tip #5: Familiarise yourself with the hazardous area classifications

As you research the various intrinsically safe junction boxes and pieces of equipment, you will come across different hazardous area classifications, like Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2. These ratings may vary from country to country. For example, in North America, hazardous areas are classified into Class I, II, and III.

Regardless of the classifications used, these ratings are intended to assess the hazardous conditions of the work environment. Therefore, identifying and understanding what these classifications represent is essential in choosing the correct intrinsically safe equipment. Here is a breakdown of the definition of each zone/division.

North American Classification

European & IECEX Classifications

Definition of Zone or Division

Class I Division 1 (gases)

Zone 0 (gases)

Zone 0 (gases)

An area in which an explosive mixture is continuously present or present for long periods.

Class II Division 1 (dust)

Zone 20 (dust)

Class I Division 1 (gases)

Zone 1 (gases)

An area in which an explosive mixture is likely to occur in normal operation.

Class II Division 1 (dust)

Zone 21 (dust)

Class I Division 2 (gases)

Zone 2 (gases)

An area in which an explosive mixture is not likely to occur in normal operation. If it occurs, it will only exist for a short time.

Class II Division 2 (dust)

Zone 22 (dust)

Zone 0 is the most dangerous, followed by Zone 1 and then Zone 2. Therefore, Zone 0 requires higher specifications than Zone 1 and 2. Subsequently, Zone 1 has more stringent requirements than Zone 2. This also applies to the Class I, II, and III classification. 

So to summarise:

  • Zone 0/Class I: For use in Zone 0, Zone 1, or Zone 2 areas;
  • Zone 1/Class II: For use in Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas;
  • Zone 2/Class III: For use only in Zone 2 areas.

Remember, prevention is the best protection when it comes to workplace safety. And now that you are armed with this knowledge, you should be confident in making an informed decision. If you have further queries about selecting the ideal intrinsically safe equipment for your work environment, do not hesitate to approach our experts at Supermec!

As one of the leading safety solution specialists in the industry, Supermec offers a broad selection of intrinsically safe equipment and explosion-proof enclosures, including intrinsically safe junction boxes and hazardous lighting, tailored to every business need. Visit our website today to browse our extensive catalogue.