What is an explosive environment?
An explosive environment refers to an area where flammable gases or combustible dusts exist in sufficient quantities to cause an explosion. In workplaces that involves the manufacture of explosive substances, processing, handling and storage, and transport in industries like oil and petroleum, chemical, coal, pharmaceutical, and food processing could become an explosive environment.
Three requirements must be met for an explosion to take place,
1. Presence of explosive substances, including hydrogen, acetylene, methane, dust and flammable fibers;
2. Presence of oxygen;
3. Source of ignition, including electrical sparks, mechanical sparks, static electricity sparks, high heat and light energy.
In industries like oil and petroleum, natural gas, chemical and mining, and at airports where the leakage of explosive substances is common, special attention shall be paid to explosion protection since oxygen is present everywhere and ignition sources are inevitably present during production when various electrical systems are in use.
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