What Are Intrinsically Safe 2-Way Radios
Intrinsically Safe Radios - How They Work
Remember the stories of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones exploding? The phones underwent a major recall due to the danger that such an event could pose.
The controversy surrounding the exploding smartphones even resulted in them being banned from aircraft by the FAA.
Although this incident was exclusive to the popular South Korean electronics brand, it serves as an example of the safety hazards of all portable communications equipment, including two-way radios.
However, there are radios that do have protections in place that lower the chances of fire and explosions happening to near zero.
One thing that wasn't reported on in the previously mentioned incident was the risk element which made the phones more likely to set on fire.
For some electronics, the building materials of the phone aren't made to prevent unwanted (and dangerous) malfunctions.
But brands that do prioritize such protections in their communications devices will market them as "intrinsically safe."
What Is Intrinsically Safe Radio?
An intrinsically safe radio is a radio (including 2-way radios) that have safety mechanisms in place that prevent them from creating a spark on the exterior and interior of the device.
Two-way radios are used in areas where safety is paramount to performing a job in a successful and efficient manner.
If the area in which a person works has lots of hazardous substances in the air that are nearby a radio that isn't intrinsically safe, dangers may arise.
The radio could cause the air in the immediate area to combust into flames or even an explosion. Such areas that present these types of hazards include the following:
- Anywhere a Large Fire Is Present - While the average person could use a radio in a place that has a controlled fire, areas where an unwanted fire develops could produce sparks in the air. If this happens, an ordinary radio could quickly become an explosive ordinance if one lands on the device. While this might seem a little far fetched, it can happen. Employers of fire departments are at exceptional risk of this, and many jurisdictions require their emergency services to carry intrinsically safe radios as a precaution.
- Oil Rigs - Anywhere where oil is present can make for a recipe for disaster if safety protocols are ignored, one of them being the dangers presented by communications equipment. One little spark of flame at the wrong time could set all an explosion, in the air and unsafe 2-way radios. Some of the worst oil disasters are caused by fire; many oil companies stipulate their employees to wear PPE (personal protective equipment), including the accessories they use on a daily basis while working.
- Construction Sites - Constructions sites of all kinds are riddled with dangers to workers. Some of the dangers are more abundant depending on the profession. For example, welders work on materials that blow sparks into the air. The immediate area around the sparks is a recipe for igniting electronic devices that means to be used in a hazardous environment.
- Manufacturing Facilities - Any facility that has areas with open flames are heat could react to unsafe portable radios. Examples are companies that develop steel and metal parts. These facilities produce an intense heart that may conduct heart to electronic equipment, which also includes portable radios.
What Make a Radio Intrinsically Safe?
Many of the safety features of an intrinsically safe radio are built within the body of the radio, and the battery it uses.
The exterior could be built with fire-resistant materials, having shields around sensitive areas where wires are present. Some brands may also feature heart resistance as well and spark protection.
If so, then the radio could be opened to retrieve the battery, regardless of the hazards in the area.
Whether or not an intrinsically safe radio is right for you can be based on the place that you work, and the number of dangers that are present in the air. But they could also be useful for the general public, including people that aren't routinely in locations where that are hazardous. As an emergency item, radios themselves are already strongly recommended. But intrinsically safe brands like Hytera are an even larger step in the right safety direction.
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