Date: July 3, 2008
Topic: Electrical Area Classification
Applicable Standard: Safety Standard F.1
Presenting Team: West End EIM
ELECTRICAL AREA CLASSIFICATION
； Would you strike a match or smoke a cigarette while pumping gasoline into your
automobile? Would hope not!
; The temperature in the middle of a lit cigarette could range between 580
Deg C (static) to 700 Deg C (during a draw). Michael Ewart, Researcher at the University of
Southern California and Anton Skorucak, Creator & Editor of PhysLink.
; Unleaded gasoline has auto ignition temperature of 260 Deg C to 460 deg C.
; Static electricity is also an energy source to ignite flammable material.
Hazardous locations are those where flammable mixtures such as liquids, vapors or gases, and/or dusts may be present. For a flammable mixture to ignite there needs to be a source of energy. Electrical equipment can provide this energy for ignition thru its surface temperature and/or arcs/sparks produced when operated. Proper design, installation, and maintenance of electrical equipment to prevent electricity from serving as an ignition source for flammable mixtures depends on the correct classification of locations. Once the classification is established, the National Electrical Code, API Standard "RP-500", and the ConocoPhillips Refining Engineering Practices give very specific guidance as to what equipment is suitable.
The classification of each unit within the Sweeny Refinery, associated facilities and outlying areas are recorded on electrical area classification drawings that are kept in the vault, accessible via SAP-DMS, and on individual unit web pages at
The Safety Standard F.1 contains the guidelines that all personal should be familiar with if specifying, purchasing, installing, operating and/or maintaining equipment. Any person(s) driving in/around or visiting operating units should be familiar with this safety standard. It should be everyone’s responsibility to be aware of any non-approved temporary electrical equipment, test equipment, cameras, cell phones, 2-way radios, I-pods, pagers, PDA and flashlights that may be in use in and around operating units and process equipment.