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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.

What is ATEX?

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

ATEX Zones

1

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.

2

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.

3

Zone classification & corresponding equipment categories:

Zone 0 or zone 20 - category 1 equipment

Zone 1 or zone 21 - category 2 equipment

Zone 2 or zone 22 - category 3 equipment

Find out more about ATEX Zones with the HSE guidance.

ATEX Equipment

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.

More information can be found here

Safer solutions - ATEX Certification

Only products and equipment with ATEX certification should be used in specified ATEX zones.

Less hazardous ATEX zones can self-certify products and the manufacturer can stipulate that these products conform to the required standards.

Highly dangerous ATEX zones must have their products inspected and approved by a Notified Body.

See the list of EU authorised Notified Bodies.

DENIOS fire-rated cabinets and containers can be ATEX certified.

Talk to one of our UK experts to discuss your particular needs.

We are happy to advise you!

Whether on the phone, via e-mail or in person at your premises - we are happy to help and advise you. Get in touch with us.

Free expert advice 01952 811 991

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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.

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