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This paper is intended to present a practical and common sense approach to determining the proper hazardous area classification of a manufacturing or process facility. Industrial processes involving flammable or combustible materials may produce explosive atmospheres. The concept of assessing and limiting the risk associated with the installation of electrical devices in areas where potentially explosive atmospheres may be present is referred to as “Area Classification”. Many people take a “by the books” approach to area classification assessment. Unfortunately, this method almost always increases cost and sometimes compromises safety. This paper seeks to define a well-understood common sense approach to area classification so that industrial owners and managers can reduce risk while mitigating capital waste.
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