December 09, 2019
Intrinsically Safe Equipment
Intrinsically safe test equipment is a requirement for workplaces where combustible gasses may be present. Prior to performing an infrared inspection in such areas, it is important to understand the meaning and importance of this requirement.
Intrinsically safe is a term that applies to test instruments that will not produce sparks or thermal effects capable of igniting a flammable vapor. Intrinsically safe equipment is frequently required in mines, chemical refineries, and in areas where combustible gasses, vapors, or dust may collect. Using instrumentation other than intrinsically safe in these areas could cause a potentially lethal fire or explosion.
Presently, most infrared inspection equipment is not rated as intrinsically safe. Because of this, infrared equipment not rated as intrinsically safe should never be operated in an area where combustible gasses or vapors are present.
In areas where there is a potential of combustible gas accumulation, the area should be sampled for combustible gasses and oxygen content prior to the infrared inspection to ensure that the area is safe to enter. Once deemed safe, the area should be continuously supplied with fresh air and monitored regularly during the inspection.
Infrared equipment selection and operation are two of the many topics covered in all Level I Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer® training courses. Level I training is available at several locations each month and through our Distance Learning Program. For information on thermographer training including course locations and dates, visit us online at www.infraspection.com or call us at 609-239-4788.
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