Fire-rated cabinets for ATEX zones - What do I need to know?
Within DSEAR, an explosive atmosphere is defined as a mixture of dangerous substances with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapours, mist or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
You need to carry out a risk assessment to determine if your storage cabinet needs to be zoned as a hazardous area.
Where there are flammable vapours present any electrical equipment that is installed needs to be ATEX rated.
ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:
1) Directive 99/92/EC (also known as 'ATEX 137' or the 'ATEX Workplace Directive') is about the minimum requirements for the protection of the workforce, who may be at risk in explosive atmospheres. More information on how this applies in the UK is available on the HSE website.
2) Directive 94/9/EC (also known as 'ATEX 95' or 'the ATEX Equipment Directive') relates to the use of equipment and systems in potentially explosive atmospheres. More information is available on the HSE website here
Zone classifications for gases, vapours & mists:
Zone 0 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 1 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
Zone 2 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
Zone classifcations for dusts:
Zone 20 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 21 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
Zone 22 - A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
Zone classification & corresponding equipment categories:
Areas classified into zones must be protected from sources of ignition. Equipment and protective systems intended to be used in zoned areas should be selected to meet the requirements of the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996.
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The specialist information on this page has been compiled carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS Ltd cannot assume any warranty or liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the topicality, completeness and correctness either towards the reader or towards third parties. The use of the information and content for your own or third party purposes is therefore at your own risk. In any case, please observe the locally and currently applicable legislation.