What is Intrinsically Safe?

To keep workers operating in hazardous flammable environments safe and productive, they need equipment that has low electrical or thermal energy. Intrinsically Safe (IS) equipment is designed to operate in potentially explosive atmospheres without causing a fire or explosion. How does this work exactly? In this lesson from the Tait Radio Academy, we explain what Intrinsically Safe is.

Check out the full lesson on the Tait Radio Academy

Intrinsically Safe (or IS) equipment is designed to operate in potentially explosive atmospheres without the risk of becoming an ignition source or creating a spark that might cause a fire or explosion. For an explosion to take place, there must be three things:

  1. Fuel (such as gas or dust).
  2. Oxygen (air), which mixes with the fuel in the right ratio.
  3. A source of heat – either a hot surface or a spark of sufficient energy.

Generally, Intrinsically Safe addresses the heat aspect of the ‘fire triangle’.

Intrinsic Safety is a protection technique that focuses on preventing sparks or hotspots that might ignite a potentially explosive atmosphere, even under improbable fault conditions.

Intrinsically Safe: A requirement in many industries

IS equipment is required in a wide range of industries, from Public Safety and Utilities, to Mining, Petrochemical and Transportation.

IS radios allow critical communications to be conducted in hazardous environments where use of non-IS radios could cause a spark and be potentially dangerous. For users or purchasers of equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, Intrinsic Safety is likely to be a key requirement.

Tait Radio Academy

Want to know more? For the full lesson, head over to the Introduction to Intrinsically Safe Radios course on the Tait Radio Academy, where you can learn about the different Intrinsically Safe (IS) standards and the environments under which IS radios might be used!

The Tait Radio Academy is a free training resource, providing foundational education on a wide range of critical communications topics.  From basic radio awareness to Industrial Control Systems, there is a range of material for people in both technical and non-technical roles.



Register to Tait Radio Academy unlock access to quizzes, downloadable study guides, the ability to join our Discussion Group on LinkedIn, and more.

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