Electrical equipment to be installed in Hazardous (Classified) Locations is mandated to comply with the national product safety standards for both general safety (ordinary locations) and hazardous locations.
Products are evaluated to:
- General product safety standards: for compliance for shock, mechanical, fire and electrical hazards that exist in general use of the product, considering single fault failures.
- Hazardous Locations Testing and Certification standards: for prevention of gas and dust ignitions.
In Canada, the Canadian Electrical Code (CSA-C22.1) mandates product compliance markings for all hazardous location equipment. The new CEC, CSA-C22.1 requires Hazardous Location equipment to be marked for “Zones” (new approach), to slowly replace the Classes and Divisions marking schemes (old approach) with the Zone and Method of Protection markings.
In the USA, the National Electrical Code has also started to adopt the Zone and Method of Protection markings , slowly moving away from the old approach of Classes and Divisions.
Classes and Divisions (old approach): markings indicate to the installer and user for what areas the product was approved for.
Zone and Method or Protection (new approach): markings identify the specific method of protection the product complies with and the Zone.
Adoption of IEC 60079
Both Canada and the USA are members of the IECEx Scheme and have adopted the IEC 60079 series of standards with the country specific national deviations. This allows manufactures/applicants to evaluate the products to a single test program, in accordance to the IEC standards with the country specific national deviations.
In Canada the products are evaluated to the CSA standards.
In the USA, products for hazardous locations testing and certification are evaluated to the ISA, UL and/or FM standards. Standards published by these standards development organizations (SDOs) are adopted from the IEC 60079 series of standards.
Both CSA and UL are slowly aligning (harmonizing) their standards in aim to help manufactures comply with a single requirement and avoid repeat testing.