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Why Explosion Proof Cameras are Best Suited for Hazardous Areas

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Why Explosion Proof Cameras are Best Suited for Hazardous Areas

A camera plays a critical role in surveillance and monitoring, but in certain industries like oil and gas, a reliable surveillance and security system is all the more important. Extremely challenging conditions, hazardous atmospheres, and a potentially fatal risk of fires and explosions mean you need a camera that can withstand all these adversities and still give you the performance you desire.

1. Understanding Explosive Atmosphere

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations or DSEAR defines an explosive atmosphere as a mixture of dangerous substances with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapors, mist, or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.

By atmospheric conditions, we mean temperatures of –20°C to 40°C and pressures of 0.8 to 1.1 bar.

Explosive atmospheres can be caused by flammable gases, mists, or vapors or by combustible dust. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion. Explosions can cause loss of life and serious injuries as well as significant damage.

Workplaces like vehicle paint spraying, oil rigs, drilling platforms, chemical plants, FSPOs, etc need to maintain high standards for safety and security. Due to the nature of these industries, special precautions are needed to prevent fires and explosions. 

2. Explosion Proof Camera for Robust Protection in Hazardous Environments

It is a must for organizations in hazardous areas to select security cameras that are made to withstand the harshest environments while remaining able to collect critical information. Video solutions that use good quality hardened protective enclosures and provide exceptional video quality make the safekeeping of these critical sites possible.

2.1 Why Explosion Proof Cameras are The Best for Hazardous Environments

A camera needs to be really sturdy to withstand the hazardous conditions, varying high and low temperatures, high vibrations, corrosive and abrasive elements, and of course explosions. Explosion-proof cameras are a perfect fit for such environments. They have special enclosures that stop them from exploding and also prevent the ignition of surrounding dust or other gaseous products. A regular camera would probably worsen the situation in an environment like that if it explodes.

2.2 What Makes Cameras Explosion-proof?

There is more than one factor at play here in making the camera explosion-proof for hazardous areas. Explosion-proof cameras are class-rated; protected by non-sparking material that is capable of containing ignitions within the device. The enclosures are made up of stainless steel or aluminum to prevent ignitions. These cameras are also NEMA rated which shows that the enclosure can also withstand outdoor elements such as corrosion, heavy rain, wind, dust, etc.

2.3 What Standards are Needed to Ensure that the Camera is Explosion-proof?

After the cameras are manufactured, they have to meet the standards set by IECEX or ATEX as well as UL’s class and division system for products in hazardous locations.

Here’s what each class and division specifies in the UL system:

– Class I specifies flammable gases, flammable liquid-produced vapors, and combustible liquid-produced vapors.

–  Class II specifies combustible dust.

– Class III specifies ignitable fibers/flyings.

– Division 1 indicates ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, flammable liquid-produced vapors, or combustible liquid-produced vapors can exist under normal operating conditions.

– Division 2 indicates those substances are not likely to exist under normal operating conditions.

To receive certifications from IECEX or ATEX camera manufacturers must ensure that their products meet essential health and safety requirements and undergo appropriate conformity procedures. Once certified, the equipment is marked by the “EX” symbol to identify it as explosion-proof. The certification ensures that the equipment is fit for its intended purpose and safe to be used.

So, that’s how manufacturers ensure that the camera is safe to be used in hazardous environments. And this is why a regular camera is not going to work in such areas, it’s a must to deploy an explosion-proof camera.

At SharpEagle, we want customers to benefit from our experience, expertise, and independence. Our depth of knowledge and experience with ATEX, IECEx, and UL certifications enables you to control the challenges and risks you face every day without an iota of worry. Our Explosion-proof camera for oil and gas industry are weather and explosion-protected and designed to handle high-temperature ranges, vibrations, and changing light conditions. If you would like more information regarding our camera solutions, please contact us.

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