Explosion-Proof Security Cameras as a Risk Mitigation Factor
One spark can become the cause of the disaster. In many manufacturing plants, it is advisable to use explosion-proof CCTV cameras. They differ from conventional ones by using an intrinsically safe housing made of stainless steel or aluminum. And when combined with advanced analytics software, this type of surveillance camera can bring clear business benefits.
We can safely say that explosion-proof cameras are suitable for use in any production which can be called “dangerous”:
- agriculture and farms;
- woodworking plants;
- fertilizer production;
- gas stations;
- chemical industry enterprises;
- production and processing of petroleum materials, including factories, offshore and onshore oil rigs;
- other businesses, including warehouses that contain flammable liquids and small particles of dust / fibers in the air.
How does an explosion occur?
As a physical phenomenon, an explosion can occur when three components are combined (fuel + oxidizer + energy), while the absence of one of these guarantees a safe environment.
As a rule, air acts as an oxidizing agent. A gas or vapor containing flammable microparticles manifests itself as a fuel. And energy arises from impact, friction sparks, direct fire, lightning strikes, electromagnetic waves, and various surface heat sources.
Accordingly, a spark emitted by a video camera can trigger an explosion.
3 operating principles
The fact that the camera is called “explosion-proof” does not mean that it is protected from the explosion effects, and video footage is preserved during a fire.
The point is that the camera, clad in stainless steel or aluminum, eliminates the risk of a spark and cannot provoke an explosion accordingly. Use this equipment wisely.
Experts distinguish three principles of operation of explosion-proof video equipment:
- Prevention as a set of measures to isolate heat and electrical energy.
- Segregation as the physical separation of electrical surfaces from an explosive environment.
- Containment or rapid localization of the explosion and/or fire zone. In this case, special housings and fireproof housings are used to seal the video camera.
The following measures can be taken to prevent possible contact of the internal elements of the chamber (generating heat or generating sparks) with an explosive environment, as well as to prevent an explosion from escaping to the outside, the following measures can be taken:
- filling with varnish or compound;
- purging the camera with inert gas or compressed air;
- ensuring high pressure inside the camera case;
- immersing the case in transformer oil;
- filling the case with sand (quartz);
- limiting or reducing the release of heat and / or electrical energy.
And for your camcorder to work flawlessly, read the article “5 Proven Ways to Avoid Interference in a Video Monitoring System.“
Analytical Capabilities of Explosion Proof Cameras
Today, the explosion-proof IP camera is the perfect means of obtaining situational awareness, which can:
- collect and analyze large amounts of visual information;
- detect patterns, anomalies using various algorithms;
- monitor the productivity of staff, including detailing the working hours of employees;
- identify the facts of compliance / violation of safety measures and labor regulations;
- determine the temperature of the equipment;
- compile heat maps and maps of the movement of people in a given area;
- detect people in the disaster area;
- transmit notifications of incidents to the operator and law enforcement agencies.
Many entrepreneurs save money and refuse to buy explosion-proof cameras despite the high need for safety in hazardous industries. Placing standard cameras in hazardous areas gives a false sense of security and can lead to great risks.