Hazardous Area Electrical Classification:
Should I classify and what guidelines should I use?
In the industrial plant where flammable liquids, gases and vapours, combustible dusts or fibers and flyings are handled, processed, or otherwise generated, there can be a risk of fire or explosion. In order to have a fire or explosion, certain conditions must be met. There must be fuel present, the fuel must be mixed with an oxidiser, typically the oxygen in air, in the appropriate ratio, and an ignition source of sufficient intensity must be present. Electrical equipment, including motors, lighting, switchgear, contacts, control and pilot devices during normal use, as well as loose electrical connections, faulty cables and other components can generate energetic sparks and arcs. Also, energy-consuming/converting electrical devices such as motors, transformers, solenoid coils, and light fixtures produce hot surfaces under both normal and abnormal operating conditions. These surfaces, may ignite flammable/combustible materials that come in contact with them. Where flammable/combustible materials and/or atmospheres are present it is a requirement that electrical equipment be designed, installed, and maintained to prevent the occurrence of fires and explosions.