SAFTENG Safety Info Posts SAFTENG Safety Info Posts
Importance of MAINTANING your Explosion Proof Equipment (Video) PDF Print E-mail
Safety Info Posts - Chemical Process Safety (PSM/RMP)
Written by Bryan Haywood   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:08

EXCELLENT video for those of us that have Hazardous Locations and utilize "explosion proof" equipment.  This is the type of equipment that contains an explosion within the device and does NOT allow the flammable atmosphere outside the device to be ignited.  This video CLEARLY shows how easy it is to DEFEAT this safety critical feature, simply by scar the flange edge!  I bet you will use this for your maintenance training, if you have not already incorporated Hazardous Location and Equipment training already!!!!

Many thanks to my auditor buddy "Chuck" with BR for sharing this with the SAFTENG family.

This article is from RKI Instrumentsand does about the best job discussing the difference between “Explosion Proof” and “Intrinsically Safe”. 

Electrical equipment sometimes must be installed in areas where combustible vapors and gases are used or may be present. These are commonly referred to as “hazardous locations”, and are defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the US, or the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) in Canada. When equipment must be installed in hazardous locations, there are strict requirements for the construction of the installation, including materials and design requirements. To prevent inadvertent ignition of flammable gases and vapors by electrical equipment, the two most common methods of protection are “Explosion Proof” and “Intrinsically Safe”. We will discuss these methods as they relate to gas detection equipment.

Explosion Proof
Generally speaking, “explosion proof” is the more commonly used method for detector/sensor assemblies for fixed gas detection systems, where higher voltages and power requirements may be encountered, and the installation is permanent. Intrinsically safe method can also be used for permanent installations where the detector/sensors are relatively low power devices. Almost all portable instruments use the “intrinsically safe” method.

An “explosion proof “ classification for a sensor/transmitter means that the housing has been engineered and constructed to contain a flash or explosion. Such housings are usually made of cast aluminum or stainless steel and are of sufficient mass and strength to safely contain an explosion should flammable gases or vapors penetrate the housing and the internal electronics or wiring cause an ignition. The design must prevent any surface temperatures that could exceed the ignition temperature of the gases or vapors covered by its Group rating (see below). If the sensing element is a high-temperature device (e.g. Catalytic bead or “pellistor”), it may be protected by a flame arrestor to prevent the propagation of high temperature gases to the ambient atmosphere.

Intrinsically Safe
An “intrinsically safe” classification and design means that an electronic circuit and it’s wiring will not cause any sparking or arcing and cannot store sufficient energy to ignite a flammable gas or vapor, and cannot produce a surface temperature high enough to cause ignition. Such a design is not explosion proof, nor does it need to be. For permanent installations, such an installation may include “intrinsically safe barriers” that are located outside the hazardous location, and limit the amount of energy available to the device located in the hazardous area.

The North American classifications for hazardous locations as related to flammable gases and vapors:

Class I: Gases and vapors

Division 1: Gases or vapors are usually present and/or may be present at any time in sufficient concentrations for an explosion hazard.

Division 2: Gases or vapors are not normally present and are present only in the event of a leak in some kind of containment vessel or piping, again in potentially hazardous concentrations.

Groups A, B, C, D: Groups of atmospheres categorized by the volatility and/or ignition temperatures. “A” is the most hazardous and “D” is the least hazardous group for gases and vapors.

  • Group A: Atmospheres containing acetylene.
  • Group B: Atmospheres containing hydrogen or gases or vapors of equivalent hazard.
  • Group C: Atmospheres containing ethyl-ether vapors, ethylene, or cyclo-propane.
  • Group D: Atmospheres containing gasoline, hexane, naptha, benzene, butane, propane, alcohol, acetone, benzol, lacquer solvent vapors, or natural gas (methane).


#4 Bryan 2012-01-10 11:45
Sorry guys! My plugin failed and the video was not visible. I just uploaded it to my YOUTUBE account and embedded the file so it should be visible in the artile, as well as download-able via youtube. THANKS Jeremy for bringing this to my attention!!!!
#3 Jeremy Williams 2012-01-10 10:40
Is this video still available to view. If so can you send me the link
#2 Michael Slater 2011-12-01 16:14
Excellent video, how can I get a copy to show our tradesmen.
#1 Kevin Crighton 2011-11-17 05:34
This is an excellent video, I have been looking for just such an example to illustrate the effect from damaged flame paths.
Is there any way I can obtain a copy of this video?

wreck it all 

Members Usage Guide


 Please Support My

Partners in Safety!








Some of Our Key Clients

What They Are Saying About Us...

"Cecil I Walker Machinery Co. hired Bryan Haywood after hearing him speak at a EH&S Conference in Cincinnati, OH on the topic of World Class Safety. Bryan came in-house with vast enthusiasm and knowledge of safety. He educated our employees, from the President to the Branch Managers, the Safety D...

Michelle Brogan
Date: Apr 01, 2010