Hazardous Area Classifications - Electrical Equipment & Potentially Explosive Atmospheres

By on 18th July, 2014

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Hazardous Area Classifications - Electrical Equipment & Potentially Explosive Atmospheres

Hazardous Area Electrical Equipment

Hazardous areas are exactly what the name suggests. A working area that would present a hazard to anyone working within them due the presence of a potentially explosive atmosphere - this includes concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or dusts. Typical industries exposed to hazardous area classifications include oil, gas, petrochemicals, mining and offshore. 

It is crucial that the hazardous area is identified, classified and that the installed electrical equipment conforms to the appropriate international classification.

This is to protect not only the people working within them but also the infrastructure around these areasHazardous Area Ignition Triangle from explosions. Standards are in place in almost every aspect of our life from the way our food is made to the smallest parts used in our cars and they govern issues relating to an ever increasing range of areas from climate change to advertising.

There are some areas in which standards are more prevalent and also more important to have. Hazardous area electrical equipment is certainly one of these areas. 

What Exactly Is A Hazardous Area?

A hazardous area is classified as an area where explosive gas atmospheres, vapours or dusts may occur. Hazardous areas are classified by zones which represent the level of danger they pose.

  • Zone 0 - an area where explosive gases are present constantly or for long periods of time
  • Zone 1 - an area where explosive gases are likely to occur during a normal working period
  • Zone 2 - an area iwhere explosive gases are unlikely to occur during a normal working period and if they were to, they would not be present for a sustained period of time

Thorne & Derrick UK are specialist Hazardous Area Electrical Equipment Distributors - we distribute Hazardous Area Electrical Flameproof, Explosion Proof and Intrinsically Safe equipment for Zone 1, 2, 21 and 22 hazardous areas.

T&D service the global oil, gas and petrochemical industries with LV-HV hazardous area electrical equipment.  


  • LightingThorne and Derrick Hazardous Area Manufacturers
  • Cable Accessories
  • Control & Distribution
  • Mobile Devices & Communications
  • Audible Signalling & Visual Alarms
  • Electrical Enclosures & Junction Boxes


What & Where Are The Different Hazardous Area Classifications? 

There are many different hazardous area classifications, each being applicable to the electrical products in the country they are made in. T&D look into which classification applies to which countries. 

INMETRO Hazardous Area

The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) is the Brazilian standard that governs the manufacture of goods and services for Brazilian enterprises coming from countries that are exporting into Brazil.

Set up in 1973 by law, the primary aim of of the INMETRO is to maintain standards and improve the quality of products produced by Brazilian companies and ensure products being imported into Brazil for use in hazardous areas meet the required standards. 

CQST Hazardous Area

The China National Quality Supervision and Test Centre for Explosion Protected Electrical Products (CQST) is the standard that applies to all electrical products manufactured for use in China in an explosive atmosphere.

One of the responsiblities of the CQST is product quality supervision through the test centre that is authorised by General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PR China (AQSIQ).

CSA Hazardous Area

The Canadian Standards Association (CSAis the association and standards set for electrical products made in Canada and for products to be exported to Canada. 

The CSA group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association. The CSA is dedicated to advancing safety and sustainability as well as social good. 

JIS Hazardous Area

The Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) is the standards that apply to products constructed in Japan and for those products that are to be imported into the country especially for use in hazardous areas.


GOST-K Hazardous Area

The Centre of Certification GOST-K is the standard that products must meet in order to be exported to the Republic Of Kazakhstan. The GOST-K certificate confirms the quality of products and its compliance with the norms and standards of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

There are 3 types of certification that relate to GOST-K:

  1. Certificate GOST-K on a year to merge production
  2. Certification GOST-K on the production of series expiring after three years 
  3. Certification for a batch of goods.
IECEx Hazardous Area

The International Certificate For Explosive Areas (IECEx) is the worldwide standard that applies to products for use in explosive atmospheres and the objective of the IECEx System is to facilitate international trade in equipment, while maintaining the required level of safety. 

This is done in 5 ways:

  • Reduced testing and certification costs to manufacturer.
  • Reduced time to market.
  • International confidence in the product assessment process.
  • One international database listing.
  • Maintaining International Confidence in equipment and services covered by IECEx Certification.
ATEX Hazardous Area

ATEX Hazardous Area Electrical ATEX Directive from European Commission, provides the technical requirements to be applied to electrical equipment constructed in Europe intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Directive 94/9/EC is the direct specification that provides the technical requirements to be applied and the relevant conformity assessment procedures before placing equipment for hazardous areas can be used or exported to European marketplaces.

CPT GOST-R Hazardous Area

The Certificate Of Conformity (GOST-R) can also been known as quality certificate, State Standard Certificate, clearance certificate. This is the certificate of compliance for goods produced either by Russian companies or shipped to Russia by an external importer-company. 

This certificate sets out the standards that electrical products must meet in order to be exported to Russia and valid for a period identified in a certification document.

NEC Hazardous Area

Adopted in all 50 states, the NEC is the benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.

The NEC addresses the installation of electrical conductors, equipment, and raceways; signaling and communications conductors, equipment, and raceways; and optical fiber cables and raceways in commercial, residential, and industrial occupancies. 

The Dangers Of Not Having Hazardous Area Electrical Products Certification

As with any standard and certification they are there for a reason. Without the correct standards being in place products could be manufactured incorrectly or to a standard that is not adequate to be safe in hazardous areas. This can result in disasters occuring in workplaces with injury or even death to those working there. 

Hazardous Area LinkedIn Discussion Group Please Join T&D Group: Linked In's fastest growing forum for the discussion of LV MV HV Cable, Jointing, Substation & Hazardous Area Electrical matters; news, projects, videos, promotions, jobs, webinars, press plus much more.

Category:  Hazardous Area Electricals & Lighting

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