Several business establishments have sections that have lighting fixtures that have the potential to come into touch with hazardous items. Materials, gases, or vapors that are combustible, ignitable, or flammable might fall under this category. If the lighting fixtures are not able to resist the exceptional circumstances, these locations run the risk of having an explosion or possibly a fire break out.

That’s why; you should do all in your power to avoid making poor decisions.

It is very necessary to use LED lighting that has been purposefully developed for use in dangerous areas if you want to keep both people and property safe and secure. In this tutorial, we will cover all you need to know to make recommendations on the best hazardous area lighting.

What Types Of Industries Require Hazardous Location Lighting?

It is not difficult to determine which industries are to be targeted. They operate with combustible dust, ignitable fibers, flammable liquids, flammable gases or vapors, and other potentially explosive materials. Chemical plants, oil and gas refineries, paper and pulp mills, and steel mills are all examples of facilities that fall under this category. Any further manufacturing applications that make use of high temperatures or materials that are flammable would also qualify for this solution.

Even if a particular business does not fall into one of the aforementioned categories, it nevertheless can have storage spaces or other facilities that require hazardous site illumination. One common application for liquid gas is in wastewater treatment plants. A great number of agricultural goods, such as flour, are extremely flammable. Additionally, dust fibers can be produced in a factory that manufactures garments even if it appears to be a “clean” environment.

The encouraging news is that you do not need to speculate. There are standards in the industry that define the atypical circumstances that constitute a need for hazardous site lighting.

What Industry Standards Apply?

There are several industry associations and regulatory authorities have come together to develop standards to guarantee that hazardous environments employ the appropriate lighting fixtures.

  • The National Fire Protection Association is a charitable organization, focuses on preventing fires, electrical hazards, and other dangers linked to these areas. The more than 275 regulations and standards that are maintained by the NFPA have an impact on virtually every structure, process, service, design, and installation.
  • The United States National Electrical Code (NEC) and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Electrical Code, are the NFPA codes that pertain to electrical wiring and equipment (CEC). These regulations describe different degrees of danger for illumination in hazardous locations.
  • The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), which is part of United States Department of Labor, is in charge of enforcing the regulations that are meant to keep workplaces safe and healthy.

These norms, standards, and regulations need to be followed for any facility, new or old, to be considered compliant. The NEC has devised a categorization scheme to determine the circumstances in which lighting for hazardous locations is required.

What Environments Require Hazardous Location Lighting?

The National Electrical Code and Canadian Electrical Code have both created rules that identify risk categories for lighting in hazardous locations. According to these criteria, there are three primary categories denoted by what is present in the atmosphere, as well as subcategories for the following types of materials:

Class I: Areas that have volumes of flammable gases or vapors that, if they come into contact with open flames or electrical sparks, might cause the gases or vapors to catch fire and spread quickly:

  • In the first group, acetylene
  • Group B: Hydrogen
  • Ethylene belongs to Group C.
  • Propane is included in Group D

Class II: Areas that are characterized by the presence of flammable dust:

  • Metal Dusts are included in Group E.
  • Carbonaceous Dusts are Included in Group F
  • Non-Conductive Dust is in the Group G category (these include plastic, wood, grain, flour, etc.)

Class III: Areas that have the potential to ignite due to the presence of flammable fibers.

The categories of hazardous lighting sites are further subdivided into two categories within each of these three categories. Each one is calculated according to the amount of risk posed by the dangerous substance. Take, for instance:

  • Division 1: During normal operations, ignitable components may be present continuously or at regular intervals; alternatively, they may activated as a result of any routine maintenance or a breakdown in the equipment.
  • Division 2: There are ignitable components in the environment, but they have confined and under control thanks to positive ventilation and other control mechanisms.

Lighting fixtures are, of course, only one component of an electrical system. The facility will want to double-check that its conduits and switches are likewise in compliance with the standards. They should fulfill the requirements of the highest-rated fixture that is currently set up. In such cases, the entirety of the system is not in compliance.

It is also in the best interest of customers to plan for the potential future uses of various portions of the facility. At some time, a conventional storage facility may be put to use for the storage of chemicals or compressed gas. 

What’s The Risk Of Using Standard Lighting Vs. Hazardous Location Lighting?

Lighting that isn’t intended for use in potentially dangerous environments exposes the firm to a variety of hazards and possible costs, including the following:

Wellness & Risk Management

The possibility of an explosion or a fire is the most significant threat. When exposed to flammable gases or vapors, LED lights, in particular, have a reduced number of components that have the potential to either start a fire or spread an existing one.

Most of the time, a fire will begin within the conduit system if it is going to start in the lighting system. There are certain conduits in plants that have been there since the beginning. They may have problems with moisture condensation. When there is a short arc somewhere within the conduit system, the disruption is immediately sent down the line to the fixture. Accidental ignitions or explosions caused by improperly installed light fixtures, conduits, or switches have the potential to inflict catastrophic harm to both persons and property.

Penalties For Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with requirements can result in hefty penalties, but that’s just the beginning of the consequences. If the incorrect fittings are installed, such fixtures will need to be replaced with new ones that are up to code. By legislation, lighting fixtures that are put in potentially hazardous areas need to comply with OSHA, NFPA, or NEC/CEC requirements. Companies that are discovered using lights in potentially dangerous areas that do not comply with regulations run the risk of being sued, which is something you probably already know can be a very pricey proposition.

Reduced Length Of Durability

More robust lights are required if there is a risk of damage. They must be able to withstand the presence of potentially dangerous substances while still releasing the maximum amount of light feasible. Fixtures that are not intended to resist hazardous environments are inherently less durable, and this is true even when there is a relatively minimal probability of fire or explosion. They will eventually need to be replaced more frequently and at a higher expense.

By Manali