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What type of CCTV is best for surveillance in hazardous areas?

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What type of CCTV is best for surveillance in hazardous areas?

Extreme ambient conditions, fluctuating temperatures, dust, and salt spray, make monitoring offshore and onshore drilling rigs difficult. Not just in offshore and onshore drilling rigs, a reliable surveillance system is a necessity in all industries where safety and security are a constant concern. In hazardous areas where toxic chemicals or inflammable materials exist, Explosion-proof CCTV cameras or Hazardous area cameras allow operators to remain safe while monitoring the site. The ability to monitor and control activities, applications and processes play an important role in providing a safe work environment and preventing accidents, injuries, and equipment damage.

Industries like the oil and gas industry, chemical processing plants, aircraft refueling and hangars, coal mines, oil refineries, sewage treatment plants, grain handling, sugar refineries, etc have facilities or sections that are regarded as hazardous zones. Around such facilities, it is common to see flammable gases, vapor, and sparks that can cause accidents and fatal injuries.

Normally, most cameras are fragile. There are tons of things that can go wrong in a hazardous area, therefore using a fragile camera is not a good idea. But, you can definitely use an Explosion-proof camera to overcome these types of difficulties.

Before moving further, let’s look at the different types of explosive atmospheres that are prevalent in hazardous areas. 


What is an explosive atmosphere?

Every environment is different, each with its own specific characteristics depending on the nature of the atmosphere and present elements, a hazardous area may generally be defined as any location where there is a risk of explosions.

If we have to classify an environment as an explosive atmosphere, three components are required:


*  A flammable substance (e.g. gas, vapors, dust)
* Oxygen (required in high quantities)
* An ignition source (such as a spark or high heat)


Different Types of Explosive Environments

All work environments are not the same. Some require additional surveillance to maintain and complete the work needed. Some of these sites have extreme conditions, which means they vary in temperature, atmosphere, and other variables, and thus require different monitoring and equipment that accommodate them. Let’s look at some of the most common conditions that are faced on a regular basis.

* Enclosed areas prone to explosion
* Abnormally low or high temperatures
* Ships and areas with high corrosion levels
* Gas or toxins
* Irregular weather patterns

Understanding the Different Levels of Risk in Hazardous Atmospheres 

Governing bodies have designated three separate EX zones based on the associated risk of explosions, defined by characteristics such as lower and upper explosive limits, equipment layout, relative density, ventilation, and the grade of the source of release. The level of risk is defined by the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere.

Here are the three EX zones:

  1. EX Zone 0

An area in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a combination of air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor, or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.

  1. EX Zone 1

An area in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor, or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

  1. EX Zone 2

An area in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapor, or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

Any area that does not belong in any of these zones is considered non-hazardous.


What’s the Best CCTV Solution for Surveillance in Hazardous Areas?

Areas that are prone to explosion such as chemical processing plants, the oil and gas industry, etc, need CCTV systems that are able to withstand the blast and pressure that could arise in the workplace. Explosion-proof cameras with their rugged and flameproof casing are viable options for such areas.

These explosion-proof cameras are able to continue surveilling the area even after the blast and continue to monitor the area. Some work sites require blasts regularly and need equipment that is sustainable for multiple explosions. Here are 4 reasons your company should be thinking about explosion-proof cameras:

  1. Accident Prevention

The best way to deal with a disaster is to ensure that it never happens. CCTVs allow for increased safety as employee practices can be observed in real-time. A supervisor can promptly view the live feed when any dangerous activities are observed or even at night when the light is low.

  1. Security

In a world filled with terrorism and other violent crimes, companies that deal with hazardous materials need to be on guard against sabotage at all times. By monitoring the video constantly you can easily catch the villain in the act and avert a catastrophe should other security measures fail to keep the unsavory individual out of sensitive areas.

  1. Remote Accessibility

The video feed can be viewed from anywhere, both live or recorded. This is extremely beneficial as you don’t have to have a safety person on-site watching the cameras at all times. In an emergency situation, an experienced personnel member who isn’t onsite can be called in to consult and help save the situation, as HD cameras provide a crystal-clear view of what is going on.

  1. Video Playback

In the worst-case scenario, if there’s an explosion, the explosion-proof camera captures the footage of the disaster. This would help you provide an explanation as to what went wrong, offer a basis for future safety measures to prevent a repeat occurrence, or may even provide a narrative that exempts your company from fault if an accident is deemed unavoidable. 

In hazardous zones, one spark can cause serious problems. Therefore, it’s important that you provide the best explosion-proof cameras to protect your assets, including your most valuable and irreplaceable asset i.e. the lives of your employees. Regardless of the type of hazardous operation that needs to be overseen, SharpEagle can provide the best explosion-proof cameras. 

To learn more about our explosion-proof, Zone 1 camera offerings for hazardous areas contact Us. We can assure you that with our hazardous area cameras you won’t have to worry about your business or the lives of your employees.

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