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Classification Basics

Area Classification

Common Occupancies

The classified areas in certain types of common occupancies have been well described in other documents. These descriptions have been included in the NEC for ease in area classification for the following occupancies that include or may include classified areas:

Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage (Article 511)Commercial Garages, Repair and Storage:

511.1 Scope.
These occupancies shall include locations used for service and repair operations in connection with self-propelled vehicles (including, but not limited to, passenger automobiles, buses, trucks, and tractors) in which volatile flammable liquids or flammable gases are used for fuel or power.

Aircraft Hangars (Article 513)Aircraft Hangars:

513.1 Scope
This article shall apply to buildings or structures in any part of which aircraft containing Class I (flammable) liquids or Class II (combustible) liquids whose temperatures are above their flash points are housed or stored and in which aircraft might undergo service, repairs, or alterations. It shall not apply to locations used exclusively for aircraft that have never contained fuel or unfueled aircraft.

Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities (Article 514)Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities:

514.1 Scope.
This article shall apply to motor fuel dispensing facilities, marine/motor fuel dispensing facilities, motor fuel dispensing facilities located inside buildings, and fleet vehicle motor fuel dispensing facilities.

Bulk Storage Plants (Article 515)Bulk Storage Plants:

515.1 Scope.
This article covers a property or portion of a property where flammable liquids are received by tank vessel, pipelines, tank car, or tank vehicle and are stored or blended in bulk for the purpose of distributing such liquids by tank vessel, pipeline, tank car, tank vehicle, portable tank, or container.

Spray Application, Dipping, and Coating Processes (Article 516)Spray Application, Dipping, and Coating Processes:

516.1 Scope.
This article covers the regular or frequent application of flammable liquids, combustible liquids, and combustible powders by spray operations and the application of flammable liquids, or combustible liquids at temperatures above their flashpoint, by dipping, coating, or other means.

Health Care Facilities (Article 517, Part IV)Health Care Facilities:
The provisions of this article shall apply to electrical construction and installation criteria in health care facilities that provide services to human beings. Classified areas are relatively rare in modern health care facilities. The following definitions are used to define the classified areas of a health care facility where they exist:

Flammable Anesthetics. Gases or vapors, such as fluroxene, cyclopropane, divinyl ether, ethyl chloride, ethyl ether, and ethylene, which may form flammable or explosive mixtures with air, oxygen, or reducing gases such as nitrous oxide.

Flammable Anesthetizing Location. Any area of the facility that has been designated to be used for the administration of any flammable inhalation anesthetic agents in the normal course of examination or treatment.

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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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