What is a Hazardous Area?
In electrical engineering, a hazardous area (also known as a potentially explosive atmosphere) exists when a mixture of air gases, vapours, mist, or dusts combines in a way that can ignite under certain operating conditions. Ignition sources in this instant may include impact or friction sparks, electrical sparks, high surface temperature and electrostatic discharge, among others.
Electrical equipment installed or used in such hazardous areas are required to be tested and certified to any one of a range of international standards.
Standards may align with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IECEx) System such as ATEX throughout Europe, SGS Baseefa in Britian, JIS in Japan and ANZEx in Australia and New Zealand. Other standards are present across the globe and equipment must be certified to the region in which it is installed.