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HAZARDOUS AREA LIGHTING
When considering hazardous area lighting arrangements, keep in mind that adverse lighting solutions and electrical equipment, including basic lighting, has the potential to cause fatal explosions and fires in such areas due to the presence of highly combustible gases, vapors, and dust, among other things.
Because general lighting solutions cannot be utilized in such an environment, industrial lighting solutions specifically developed for hazardous area lighting must be employed to deal with the dangers. Many areas are vulnerable to explosions and combustible materials that even a small spark or temperature increase can cause significant damage and put personnel’s lives in jeopardy. The following are some examples of such places:
Petroleum product manufacturing, processing, and transportation.
Plants that produce alcohol.
Vessels on the ocean and other maritime operations
Chemical plants, ammunition plants, and ammunition storage facilities
What is Hazardous Location Lighting?
Hazardous location lighting can be described as any lighting that must be installed and utilized in hazardous areas and must work safely in abnormal conditions. Hazardous lighting solutions are meant to protect all electrical components from coming in contact with flammable materials by insulating them. The light fixture casings are entirely sealed to prevent combustible dusts, gases, or vapors from entering the lamp and causing combustion or explosions
What is fixture difficulty rating?
The assessment of risk levels for hazardous area lighting is referred to as fixture difficulty rating. The National Electric Code (NEC) and the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) classify hazardous/adverse lighting solutions as Class I, II, or III, based on the level of flammability.
- Class I locations are the most dangerous due to the presence of large amounts of flammable gases or vapors that can ignite if they come into contact with electrical sparks or open flames. They are further divided into four groups as group A (Acetylene), group B (Hydrogen), Group C (Ethylene) and Group D (Propane) depending on the type of material present. In class I sites, ordinary lighting solutions usually fail because gases and vapors can readily enter inside them, making them an unsuitable lighting option. Special attention must be paid when designing lights for hazardous areas to prevent external gases and vapors from entering them.
- Class II locations usually contains combustible dusts like metal dusts, carbonaceous dusts and Non-Conductive dusts like plastic, wood, grain, flour, etc.
- Class III represents the presence of ignitable fibers in the area.
Hazardous location lighting requirements vary based on the classification of these areas. Hazardous area lighting, often known as HazLoc lights, is designed to reduce the risk of fires triggered by sparks within the building or other unexpected events. These lights are explosion-proof and are intended to secure the total safety of not just workers, but also businesses. Another advantage of hazardous location lighting is that their temperature threshold is usually significantly greater. These lights are designed to keep an exterior temperature down because combustible items can easily ignite with a rise in temperature. Furthermore, these lights can withstand extreme vibrations.
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