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Choosing The Right Flashlight: The Illuminating Truth: Bacon's Safety Tip

Aug 2, 2018 11:34:42 AM / by Quad City Safety

Let there be light!

Unless you prefer bumbling around in the dark, good lighting on the job is a no-brainer. Of course, that’s easier said than done when working on a remote jobsite. When you don’t have access to wired area lighting, you’ll need to consider remote options that run off batteries

Before you go and grab the first flashlight you see, it’s important to first consider any potential hazards in the area. 

What kind of hazardous environments are we talking?

 We’re talking work zones that may be potentially explosive. We’re talking confined spaces or areas with ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, liquids, dusts, vapors, particulates or fibers. That, my friend, is when you’ll want a light source specially designed to not go BOOM.

Intrinsically safe and explosion proof flashlights are two options that may meet your needs. 

Are you sure your flashlight isn’t out to kill you? 

When you work in these hazardous environments, you’ll want a flashlight that meets or exceeds all safety standards required for that danger zone. These safety criteria are the first things to consider when choosing the safest flashlight for any hazardous work environment. The National Electric Code (NEC) classifies the hazards you may face on the job by the following criteria: Class, Division, Group and Temperature. 

The first step to choosing the right flashlight for your job depends on these safety classifications. 

Don’t get wrapped up in the bells and whistles. It may be tempting to choose that fancy, midnight-blue LED headlamp because it’s the hottest new thing on the market. But, when safety is on the line, you have to get down to the serious, nitty-gritty stuff. 

Check out Bacon’s fast facts on flashlight safety criteria. 

Bacon’s Guide to Avoid the Boom  Classes   Class I locations are considered hazardous due to the presence of flammable gases, liquids or vapors. These locations are the most explosive and include oil refineries, spray booths and more. Class II locations will have a presence of combustible dusts. These dusts can be found in coal mines and grain silos, for example.  Class III locations are those that contain easily ignitable fibers or flyings, such as sawdust or wood chips.    Divisions   Division 1: Ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, liquids, vapors or dusts existing all or most of the time under normal conditions. Think of the Division 1 classification to mean “hazard likely.” Division 2: Ignitable concentrations are not likely to exist under normal conditions. Or, where Class III materials are stored or handled. The area around a fuel tank could be classified as Division 2.    Groups   Group A: Acetylene Group B: Hydrogen Group C: Ethylene & Carbon Monoxide Group D: Propane, Gasoline, Naphtha, Benzene, Butane, Ethyl Alcohol, Acetone & Methane  Group E: Metals including Aluminum & Magnesium (Div. 1 only) Group F: Carbonaceous dusts including Coal, Carbon Black & Coke Group G: Dusts not included in E & F. Also, Woods, Plastics, Flour, Starch or Grain Dusts.    Temperature Classes  Hazards which will not ignite at temperatures below:    T1: 842°F/ 450°C T2: 572°F/ 300°C T3: 392°F/ 200°C T4: 275°F/135°C T5: 212°F/ 100°C T6: 185°F/ 85°C


“Working in the dark makes no sense, unless you’re a mole rat or something.”


Now, thanks to Bacon, you’re a flashlight safety whiz. As long as you know the NEC safety criteria for your work environment, and make them your first priority, you’re on your way to choosing the right flashlight for your job. Then, you can focus on the cool design and feature options.

Choose the right flashlight to get the job done safely. Look for markings on the body. If you’re not sure it’s safe, don’t chance it. Just like any kind of safety equipment, do your research, play it safe and avoid the BOOM.

If you have other questions about choosing the lighting for your worksite, just give us a holler. We’d be happy to help! 

If you have other questions about choosing the lighting for your worksite, just give us a holler. We'd be happy to help!  

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Safety: It’s Your Life, It’s Our Business

Topics: Flashlights, Facility Safety, Lighting, Bacon's Safety Tips, educational, industrial safety