Learn more about Ex-Zones / Divisions

Safety is the highest priority

At all places where flammable substances are produced, processed, transported or stored, safety is extremely important – especially in the chemical industry, petrochemical industry, in oil and natural gas production and in mining.

In order to provide the highest level of safety possible, most countries legislations have developed corresponding conditions in the form of laws, regulations and standards. These now have to be implemented by companies because the operator of a plant is solely responsible for safe operation in accordance with the directive 1999/92/EC.

Devices that comply with these standards and regulations are critical for using smart devices in areas at risk of explosions. This includes a range of solutions such as workforce management and lone worker safety. Examples of such devices are the IS530.1 and the IS320.1.

The cause of an explosion

Three elements are required to cause an explosion: Fuel (gas or dust), Oxygen O2 and any ignition source (e.g. electric sparks, hot surface, short-circuit,…).

The risk of an explosion is based on the probability of a fuel and oxygen (air) mixture occurring over time.

Our range of intrinsically safe devices and equipment ensure that potential ignition sources are removed or prevented. By doing so, the risk of an explosion is completely eliminated.

The areas of responsibility thereby extends to:

  • Stipulation of the explosive areas (zones).
  • Compilation of an explosion protection document.
  • Realization of organizational and technical measures for explosion protection.
  • Implementation of checks.
  • Use of products in Ex-areas that comply with the directive 2014/34/EU.

The zone division in the IEC

The International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC for short (www.iec.ch) is an international standardization organization in the electrotechnology and electronics sector that is headquartered in Geneva.

Areas subject to gas explosion

Zone 0 Area in which an explosive atmosphere with a mixture of air and flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour or fog is present, either constantly or in the long term.
Zone 1Area in which it must be assumed that an explosive atmosphere with a mixture of air and flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour or fog arises during normal operation.
Zone 2Area in which it must be not assumed that an explosive atmosphere with a mixture of air and flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour or fog arises during normal operation and if so, then only rarely and for a short time.

Areas with flammable dust

Zone 20 Area in which there is an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of flammable dust in the air, constantly, in the long term or frequently.
Zone 21Area in which it must be assumed that an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of flammable dust in air sometimes occurs during normal operation.
Zone 22Area in which is must not be assumed that an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of flammable dust in air sometimes occurs during normal operation, and if this happens, then only for a short time.

The North American Division System

The North American Division System considers only two possible likelihoods of explosive Fuel/Oxygen mixtures occurring:

Division 1A mixture of flammable gas, dust or vapour occurs permanently or occasionally. The same as Zone 1 and 0.
Division 2The mixture occurs only rarely and for a short amount of time. The same as Zone 2.

For information on using our StaySafe lone worker safety system with intrinsically safe devices, see this article.

To contact us about our devices, please call on the numbers at the bottom of this page, or fill in this form.

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Feel free to ask a question or let us know how we can help you protect your lone workers.
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