What is an Intrinsically Safe Radio?

At Wall to Wall we are proud to stock a number of intrinsically safe radios. These include the Hytera ATEX radios, Motorola ATEX radios, ICOM ATEX radios and Kenwood ATEX Radios. For more information on which one is best for you, you can read our blog ‘Which ATEX Radio Is Right For Your Business’ here

What is an intrinsically safe radio?

An intrinsically safe radio is a two way communication device that is safe to use in hazardous environments. They are certified to be present around any material or substance that could potentially be dangerous if there was a spark, heat or a flame present.. Intrinsically safe radios meet the highest safety standards to ensure they do not ignite any flammable materials.They are also known as ATEX radios, which stands for ATmosphere EXplosibles.

Intrinsically safe radios can be defined as “equipment and wiring which is incapable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal conditions to cause ignition of a specific hazardous atmospheric mixture in its most easily ignited concentration.”

intrinsically safe radio

Intrinsically safe radio standards

Industries that work around potentially explosive substances have some the highest level of safety standards that need to be upheld. This includes two way radios which cannot produce heat, a flame or a spark. This is not only for the people working in these industries, but the facility itself and those living in the surrounding area. These industries include but are not limited to petrol stations, coal mines, oil refineries and factories. It is therefore extremely important that all of the technology used in these industries comply with stringent safety standards. 

Intrinsically safe radio standards are typically classified under four categories. These include the class, group, division and temperature.

    • Class: This refers to the type of hazardous material that will be present on site e.g. flammable gas, vapours and liquids, combustible dusts and ignitable fibres. 
    • Group: ATEX radios will be classified by the ignition temperatures and explosion pressures of the materials
    • Division: The site on which the radios are used will be assessed. Factors such as the concentration of hazards and cause of potential hazards such as equipment failure. 
    • Temperature: The temperature at which an ignition can be started should not exceed the maximum surface temperature of the radio

Tips for using intrinsically safe radios

  1. You must never charge an intrinsically safe radio in a hazardous area
  2. You must never remove the battery whilst in a hazardous area
  3. Ensure all radio accessories are Intrinsically Safe Approved 
  4. Regularly check for damage- do not use a damaged Intrinsically Safe Radio in a hazardous area
  5. Do not remove or install radio accessories whilst in a hazardous area e.g. headsets or speaker
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