Technology is advancing every passing day. There was a time when miners used to work in extremely dangerous conditions. However, now with new technology and advanced knowledge, we have found ways to make sure that maximum precautions are taken wherever necessary. For example, there are now solutions to ensure safety on construction sites, mining areas, factories and so on. You may have read and heard how there are hazardous location lighting solutions available on the market. But what does it mean? What is Hazardous Location Lighting? What are the solutions for hazardous location lighting? Let’s explore the answers for these questions.
Hazardous Location Lighting
Hazardous location lighting means lighting in areas where it can be dangerous. Such areas exist in factories and infrastructure where manufacturing processes take place. Basically what a hazardous area means is a space where there are materials present which can be flammable and have the potential to create an explosion or fire or such. Huge manufacturing plants or even a small office with a room where such materials are stored, can be a space which is hazardous.
What is so different about hazardous area lighting? It is quite dangerous to have dangerous materials and electricity in close proximity. Lighting means electricity, even if one wire is loose or in the wrong place, the whole place and infrastructure could blow up and cause a lot of loss and harm.
So there has to be a solution, regular lighting fixtures cannot work for hazardous areas. For the purpose of safe lighting fixtures in hazardous areas, the fixtures are modeled in a way that makes sure that hazards like vapor, gasses, dust, fibers and other materials that are flammable.
Hazardous Area Classification
Presence of hazardous materials is not enough to identify and categorize the hazardous areas. There are certain classifications in place to recognize which type of hazardous space it is and according to the type of the space, there are certain safety protocols that need to be followed.
This classification is as follows:
There are two kinds of divisions: Division 1 & Division 2. Division 1 consists of areas with liquid produced vapors that are combustible and concentrated gasses. During normal operating conditions, the mentioned gasses are always present. Division 2 consists of the same gasses however it is less dangerous. The reason being the presence of proper ventilation in Division 2 classified areas.
Hazardous classes are recognised by the material type and there are three classes. Class 1 includes combustible vapors that are liquid produced. Class 2 areas have combustible dust and class 3 areas can have ignitable flyings and fibers.
There are Groups A through G which includes various chemicals:
- A Group : Acetylene
- B Group : Hydrogen
- C Group : Ethylene
- D Group : Propane
- E Group : Metal Dusts
- F Group : Carbonaceous Dusts
- G Group : Non-conductive Dusts
These classification types are the kind that overlaps by materials and components. When getting hazardous location lighting solutions for these, make sure you have recognised your space accurately and are following all the required rules and regulations accordingly.
Importance of Hazardous Location Lighting Solutions
Utilizing hazardous location lighting solutions is not just advised but mandatory. There are certain laws and regulations that need to be followed and which require hazardous location lighting solutions. If a company doesn’t follow the rules and uses regular lighting in hazardous areas, it is in violation of law and can be tried in court for the same. From the legal perspective, it is important to take help of hazardous lighting solutions.
Possibility of Accidents
From a practical perspective, in case of lack of compliance with rules and regulation and not using hazardous location lighting, there could be an unfortunate event due to the risks created by dangerous conditions. Any accidents caused by this could lead to a lot of loss. There could be huge material and financial losses along with infrastructural losses to the company due to an explosion or fire. Most importantly, in an uneventful accident, there could be human lives at risk, people could get injured or even die due to lack of proper following of safety protocols.
Durability of Lighting
Another reason to use proper hazardous location lighting solutions is that even if you take risks and decide to use regular lighting fixtures, you are only causing loss to your company. The regular lighting will not provide the necessary durability for the hazardous space with dangerous materials. The exposure of hazardous materials to the regular lighting can cause malfunctions or low performance. The hazardous location lighting solutions are specifically designed and manufactured in a way that they can withstand the exposure to the hazardous materials which means that using specific lighting will increase the durability of the lighting in the hazardous area. You will not have to keep changing lights so frequently and the hazardous location lighting solutions that you have used will last longer.
If you own an oil refinery or a chemical plant or any infrastructure which is categorized as hazardous, you need to make sure to get hazardous location lighting solutions.