Safety is one of the top criteria when selecting a switch for hazardous location environments. In many cases, these switches have to operate in the presence of explosive fumes or gases, in dirty or dust-filled environments, in remote parts of the world and around extremely harsh chemicals that breakdown electronics very quickly. These applications, including oil & gas drilling rigs, agricultural environments filled with pesticides and chemicals, and outdoor locations with extreme weather conditions, all pose dangers to personnel, materials, and equipment.
As an example, a hazardous area may have an atmosphere that could potentially ignite, burn, or explode due to a spark caused by electrical equipment. This means the components selected for these applications need to be safe as well as reliable, durable, and long-lasting. To withstand these harsh environments, the switches must comply with explosion-proof switching requirements to ensure the safety of personnel, equipment, and the environment.