An explosion is the sudden chemical reaction of a combustible with oxygen involving the simultaneous release of high energy. An explosion can take place if and only if there are three factors: a combustible, oxygen (air) and a source of ignition.
Combustibles may be present in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dusts. The parameters relating to technical safety must be taken into account in the risk assessment.
The principle of integrated explosion protection requires all measures for explosion protection to be considered in a specific order. The three distinctive protection measures are: primary, secondary and tertiary (construction design-related).
Measures for primary explosion protection prevent the formation of a hazardous explosive atmosphere. This includes avoiding the use of combustibles (alternative technologies), inerting (adding nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc.) and limiting the concentration via natural or technical ventilation.
Measures for secondary explosion protection prevent the ignition of a hazardous explosive atmosphere. The level of safety required for these precautions depends on the risk potential at the operating location.
Measures for tertiary or construction-design-related explosion protection limit the effects of an explosion to such a degree that they are not hazardous. This includes the following options: explosion-proof or explosion-shock-proof construction design, pressure relief and pressure equalising equipment as well as explosion suppression using fire-extinguishing equipment.