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A radio that is intrinsically safe works in what way?

If you shop for two-way radios a lot, you will probably come across the term “intrinsically safe”. If you are new to this field, you probably have some questions about walkie-talkies. Exactly how does it work? Why do we need them? In general, how does an “intrinsically safe” radio differ from another? Which advantages do they offer? Which benefits do they provide? How can I benefit from them?

A fundamental or unchanging aspect of something is intrinsic. A device that is electrical in nature; one whose power comes from electricity; is known as an electro-mechanical device. Since electronic devices by definition carry a charge or current, it is inevitable that they will generate heat or sparks.

A device that is intrinsically safe can be used in hazardous conditions where the presence of sparks, heat or flame may cause safety hazards. Two-way radios, in particular, need to be intrinsically safe. Radios can produce sparks and heat because of their electrical nature, and they may be required under hazardous or explosive conditions.

Typical examples of such environments include oil rigs and refineries, gas mains, coal mines, engine rooms of seafaring vessels, chemical plants, factories, first aid scenes, and other places where hazardous materials may be present.

It is possible to divide and classify hazardous environments into several categories. This article is unable to cover all of the details, but they fall essentially into three categories:

  • Flame-retardant gases and vapors
  • Flame-retardant dust
  • Fire-resistant fibers are classified according to their flammability 

In such environments, two-way radios are absolutely crucial, even critical. The use of standard two-way radios, however, is discouraged since they can aggravate a dangerous situation.

In these situations, radios Intrinsecamente seguros are required.

The construction of an intrinsically safe radio must prevent or eliminate even the smallest possibility of sparking. It should also generate the least amount of heat. Additionally, batteries used in radios should be designed so that they do not short-circuit or spark. Static electricity and sparks can be prevented by using materials that reduce friction in the housing.

All radios, headphones, and accessories must be intrinsically safe.

Two-way radios that are intrinsically safe must follow strict standards set by the National Fire Protection Association. The manufacturing facilities and processes are managed by a company called Factory Mutual. Factory Mutual is an insurance company that enforces NFPA codes on behalf of the US government.

Due to their more stringent requirements, Intrinsically Safe radios are more expensive than standard radios. However, due to its safety features, this radio is far more valuable. Safety, after all, is priceless.

All radios manufactured with Factory Mutual (FM) Approved certification are intrinsically safe. Two-way radios that are intrinsically safe are available from several major brands such as Icom, Motorola, and Vertex.

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