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Area classifications are defined in Articles 500, 505 and 506. These articles give general descriptions, but they do not determine the location or extent of any specific classified area.
In other words, the National Electrical Code defines the classifications, but in general it does not designate specific areas in actual buildings or occupancies as being one classification or another.
The purpose of the NEC classification system is to recognize and define the potential concern and then to provide prescriptive rules to prevent the electrical system from being an ignition source once the extent of the classified areas are determined. The NEC does provide area classification information for certain very common areas in Articles 511 through 517, but the area classification details are extracted from other documents. Area classification is not a strictly electrical issue. Other disciplines such as process, mechanical and chemical engineering and design all play a part in area classification.
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