Flashlight Safety Ratings
A guide to all of your flashlight concerns
When purchasing a flashlight, it is important to know when and where it can be safely operated. If your flashlight is safety rated, it means it is tested and approved to be used in areas with potentially harmful chemicals or other types of environments that are hazardous. Each class and division represents a certain environment in which it is safe to use your flashlight. In this guide, we are going to take a look at the different safety ratings a flashlight can receive and what each rating means.
To break it down, safety ratings are classified by: class, division, groups, and temperature codes.
- Class represents hazardous materials that could cause an explosion.
- Division represents the probability of an explosion.
- Groups represent what elements are present that could cause an explosion.
- Temperature Codes represent ignitable gases/combustible dusts and what temperature that could cause them to ignite.
Depending on the class, you may safely use your flashlight around certain environments or chemicals. As an example, if your flashlight is safety rated for Class II areas, you may use it in areas where there are combustible dusts such as grain elevators or coal preparation plants.
Each Class is divided up into two divisions. Divisions are broken up by the likelihood of an explosion occurring. If your flashlight is safety rated for Division I areas, it can be used where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or liquids exist some/all of the time under normal operating conditions.
Each group signifies elements that could potentially create explosions. They are sorted by similarity. Groups A-D relate to Class 1 and groups E-G relate to Class 2.
An extremely important category, this guide shows how hot your equipment may become before it could cause an ignition of any hazardous materials nearby. Temp codes only relate to Class 1 and 2.
Intrinsic Safety vs. Explosion Proof
Your flashlight may also be intrinsically safe, meaning that your flashlight will either not produce sparks at all, or not produce enough sparks to ignite any potentially flammable materials. Secondly, mechanisms within the flashlight are safe from extreme temperatures meaning your flashlight will not overheat from the inside and it is perfectly safe from igniting hazardous materials in the area. However, this is different if your equipment is marked as explosion proof. Equipment that is explosion proof is able to contain explosions internally, meaning that should an explosion occur, it will be contained within your flashlight.
Please pay careful attention to how your flashlight or other equipment is classified. Do you understand the markings? Can you understand what this picture means?
- This flashlight has a very clearly marked label. Can you identify it?
- This flashlight is safety rated for Class I, Division II environments for groups A, B, C, and D.
- It is also tested and approved for Class II, Division II, Groups F, G.
- Finally, it is safe to use in Class III environments and it temperatures okay for code T4.
- Full coverage, right? Nope! Take care to note that this flashlight was not approved for group E.
Please Note: A flashlight is only safe for the area it was tested in. As an example, your flashlight could be intrinsically safe for a Class II, Division II environment, however, you absolutely cannot assume it is safe for environments of a different Class. Take care to use proper batteries and chargers as well.Source: FlashlightUniversity.com