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NEC/CEC - (Ex) Classification, Atmosphere and zones in hazardous area...

This tables shows typical NEC / CEC classifications, Atmosphere and Zones in hazardous area and Method of Explosion Protection.

Area Classification


Continuous Hazard

Intermittent Hazard

Hazard under Abnormal Conditions

North America/ NEC 500-503/CEC 18 Division 1 Division 1 Division 2
NEC 505-506/ CEC 18 Zone 0 (Zone 20 dust) Zone 1 (Zone 21 dust) Zone 2 (Zone 22 dust)


Hazardous Atmosphere Category NEC/CEC

(Gas or Dust Grouping)

  North America NEC 500-503 / CEC 18 NEC 505*/CEC 18  
Explosive Atmosphere Typical Hazard Material Hazard Category Grouping Gas Grouping

Gases and Vapors

Acetylene Class I Group A IIC
Hydrogen Class I Group B IIC or IIB+H2
Ethylene Class I Group C IIB
Propane Class I Group D IIA

Metal dust Class II Group E  
Coal dust Class II Group F  
Grain dust Class II Group G  


Fibres & Flyings Wood, Paper, or Cotton processing Class III -  


Method of Explosion Protection NEC/CEC

    Permitted for use in:
    United States Canada
    NEC 500 NEC 505 CEC 18 CEC
Type of Protection Description of Protection Division Zone Division Zone
e Increased Safety - 1, 2 - 1, 2
n Non-Incendive  2 2 2 2
Protection Concept: e, n No arcs, sparks or hot surfaces        
d Flameproof - 1, 2 - 1, 2
- Explosion proof  1, 2 - 1, 2


q Powder Filled - 1, 2 - 1, 2
Protection Concept: d, -, q Contain the explosion, prevent the flame propagation.        
ia Intrinsic Safety 1, 2 0, 1, 2 1, 2 0, 1, 2
ib Intrinsic Safety - 1, 2 - 1, 2
Protection Concept: ia, ib Limit the energy of the spark and the surface temperature.        
p Pressurized (Purged) 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2 1, 2
m Encapsulation - 1, 2 - 1, 2
o Oil Immersion 2 1, 2 2 1, 2
Protection Concept: p, m, o Keep the flammable gas out.        



It is the user's responsibility to ascertain if a particular product is safe and without risk to health and safety by virtue of its location in a hazardous area, i.e. classification of zones, gas groups, ignition temperatures, etc. Both the specifier and user should be thoroughly familiar with standard mentioned on this sites or any document within.

Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this document, we regrets that it connot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions contained herein. Readers should not rely upon the information contained in this document or site without seeking specific safety advice and ensuring that their own particular circumstances are in accordance with the matters set out.

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