Hazardous Area Classification

Start Safe. Stay Safe.


Canary HLE is dedicated to creating and maintaining safe workplaces. Our services range from assisting factory and facility design to cataloging hazards at existing structures that may have been constructed without proper risk knowledge and using potentially dangerous equipment and materials. Most importantly, we provide the training that enables employees to recognize, monitor and manage high-risk environments. Canary consulting and training offsets the possibility of prolonged downtime, extensive damage, bad publicity and even death. Every company wants explosive success. No company wants an explosive event.

Hazardous Area Classification


The Hazardous Area Classification (HAC) process determines if and to what degree a location inside a facility is potentially explosive. Most requests for an HAC rise from a concern that an explosive atmosphere may exist due to the presence of gases, vapours, fibres or dust. However, with the rapid growth of facilities dedicated to new technologies and techniques, potential hazards may go unconsidered and unnoticed. A hazardous location might be an automotive spray-painting operation, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, cement plant, coal processing operation or even a carpet factory. Hazardous locations also include rooms in which flammable liquids are used or stored, fuel dispensing stations, and repair garages.

Canary offers a free assessment of the need for an HAC.

Codes and standards
Fully detailed and documented


The HAC defines hazardous locations according to certain Codes and Standards, including but not limited to:



  • Canadian Electrical Code Part I C22.1-08 (24th edition) Section 0: Definitions of a “Hazardous Location” (see Appendix B)
  • Section 18: Hazardous Locations
  • Reference publication documents Table B18-1

United States

  • NFPA 497, Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids, Gases, or Vapors and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. Appendix L: Engineering guidelines for determining hazardous area classifications.
  • NFPA 499, Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas.


  • IEC 60079-10-1:2020 Explosive atmospheres – Part 10-1: Classification of areas – Explosive gas atmospheres
  • ISO/IEC 80079-20-1:2017 Explosive atmospheres – Part 20-1: Material characteristics for gas and vapour classification – Test methods and data

Canary HLE applies the most detailed and comprehensive procedures in the industry to determine the selection, integration and placement of electrical equipment.

How We Do It

  1. Review drawings; suggest modifications or other changes with the client in order to reduce or eliminate the area classification.
  2. Discuss and determine time frames for the agreed-upon modifications.
  3. Conduct an engineering review to determine the likely area classification.
  4. Visit the facility
    • Meet with Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) staff, review and discuss any incident data directly attributable to flammable substances.
    • Confirm modifications if any were suggested
  1. Produce 3-dimensional models of the plant including processes for import and analysis by the computational fluid dynamics program.
  2. Complete a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) review. Proprietary CFD modelling software is used to generate the models. The CFD modelling program uses industry accepted formulae and algorithms applicable to types of flow patterns modeled in the resultant report. Computer-generated modeling visualization of airflow is a recognized method of hazardous area classification (HAC) as per IEC 60079-10-1:2020.
  3. Prepare draft Hazardous Area Classification Drawings using an AutoCAD program based on CFD analysis and information gathered during the site evaluation. This information, together with the Hazardous Area Classification Report are reviewed by a professional engineer. Based on information provided by the engineer, the drawings are finalized, then stamped and signed by the engineer. The AutoCAD drawings clearly delineate the hazardous zones.

We Deliver

Upon completion of the Area Classification Overview, Canary HLE will provide a detailed HAC Summary Report and Stamped AutoCAD drawings of the facility clearly defining hazardous areas.