Hazardous & Explosion Proof Access Control Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 27, 2017

Controlling access to hazardous environments require equipment meeting specific ratings that certify they will not start fires. Understanding those ratings mandate careful selection. Inside this note, we explain:

  • Where is explosion proof access equipment required?
  • What are the three considerations for Hazardous rated access control?
  • Hazardous rated access equipment including Assa, HID, Interlogix, and others.
  • Typical product cost
  • What are the ratings? Including NFPA 70, EX, Division 1, Division 2, and ATEX directives 95/137
  • What do the ratings mean?

Explosion Proof Surveillance

For a companion piece detailing explosion proof camera systems, and the specific requirements of that equipment see our Hazardous & Explosion Proof Video Surveillance note.

Where is Explosion Proof Access Equipment Required?

In general, any location where ignition of fumes, vapors, or any flammable material is kept or processed may fall under a 'hazardous area' restriction. In general, fire potential is the concern, as locations with high radiation risk or toxic material exposures are less common and classified differently.

Examples of common hazardous area locations are petroleum based chemical storage areas, like gasoline tank farms, chemical processing and refining sites, or any locations where airborne dust may be ignited common to manufacturing plants or agricultural storage granaries.

Automobile fueling stations are not typically classified as 'hazardous areas' requiring special equipment, however, care should be taken to confirm or investigate if a location requires rated access control equipment.

Three Basic Considerations

Access controlled openings, unlike video surveillance cameras, typically require multiple components all installed together within dangerous areas. Therefore, all hazardous area access needs to be installed observing three basic rules:

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