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IDENTIFYING ZONE 0, ZONE 1, AND ZONE 2 HAZARDOUS AREAS

A hazardous area can be defined as any location where there is risk of an explosion. But every hazardous area is different and each has specific requirements depending on the nature of the atmosphere and the elements that are present. ADNOC ATEX Certification. ADNOC ATEX Inspection. ADNOC IECEx Certification. ADNOC IECEx Inspection. Karandikar Lab contact in Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE. IECEx Karandikar Certification

Fundamentally, for an explosion to take place, flammable or explosive gases, vapours, mists or dusts will be present. Then, the level of risk of an explosion is based on the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere. This level of risk is represented by classifying the hazardous area as Zone 0, Zone 1 or Zone 2 (for gas, vapour and mist atmospheres) or Zone 21 or Zone 22 for dust atmospheres. IECEx Karandikar Certification

In this article we will look at what defines Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2 hazardous area classifications and the considerations for specifying lighting into each area. But first, we must consider what is likely to cause an explosion in the first place.

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There are three necessary components for an explosion to occur;

1. Flammable Substance – this needs to be present in a relatively high quantity to produce an explosive mixture (e.g. gas, vapours, mists and dusts).

2. Oxygen – oxygen is required in high quantities and in combination with the flammable substance to produce an explosive atmosphere.

3. Ignition Source – a spark or high heat must also be present.

Where there is potential for an explosive atmosphere, special precautions are needed to prevent fires and explosions. Electronic equipment, including lighting, needs to be purpose designed for use in hazardous areas to prevent a spark occurring and igniting any flammable substances.

Although every application is different, for the ease of monitoring and specification each hazardous area is classified as a particular level or “zone”. As a result, all hazardous area equipment must be designed with hazardous area zone classifications in mind, as the “zone” governs the level of protection and precaution required. It is essential to know which zone you are working in, so that you can specify the most appropriate equipment.

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For gases, vapours and mists the zone classifications are recognised as Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas. Let’s take a look at what defines each zone…

Zone 0

Zone 0 is an area in which an explosive atmosphere is present continuously for long periods of time or will frequently occur.

Zone 1

Zone 1 is an area in which an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur occasionally in normal operation. It may exist because of repair, maintenance operations, or leakage.

Zone 2

Zone 2 is a place in which an explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only. These areas only become hazardous in case of an accident or some unusual operating condition.

To make this even easier to understand, take a look at the diagram of a typical petrol station below where we have identified the areas that are classified as Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2.

Whenever you are filling up your tank you are standing in a Zone 1 hazardous area. That is why the use of mobile phones on petrol forecourts are banned. You’re phone isn’t rated for use in hazardous areas. Have a think about it next time you’re filling up!

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IEC 60079-10-1 Classification of areas -Explosive gas atmospheres
Standard intended to be applied where there may be an ignition hazard due to the presenceofflammablegasorvapour,mixedwithairundernormalatmospheric presence of flammable gas or vapour, mixed with air under normal atmospheric conditions but does not apply to :
mines susceptible to firedamp, but IEC 60079 series apply to mines (gas group I)  processing and manufacture of explosives. areas where a hazard may arise due to the presence of combustible dusts or fibers (refer to IEC 61241-10 / IEC 60079-10-2). catastrophicfailureswhicharebeyondtheconceptofabnormalitydealtwithinthis catastrophic failures which are beyond the concept of abnormality dealt with in this standard. rooms used for medical purposes. domestic premises. IECEx Karandikar Certification

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