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TJ-1 12.8.17
Who Determines the HazLoc Classification of a Building Location?
LED Lighting is classified for different Hazardous Locations, but the Installer of Haz Loc Lighting fixtures must refer to the classifications within the building itself. Locations within a building are classified first – after which, the electrical equipment must conform to that location classification. An entire building may or may not be just one classification. Different locations in a building can have multiple classifications, depending on what is being done in that location.
For every industrial or commercial building there is always a set of blueprints that were created and used in the construction of that facility.  Before construction, a Design Team for the building consults the NEC Code and makes the determination of the hazardous (classified) locations in that building, and they require involvement from one or more of the following engineering or design professionals: chemical, process, mechanical, fire protection, civil, environmental, structural, architectural and electrical.
The classification of different locations for a building is in the form of written documents, accompanied by blueprints or drawings that graphically show the area classification. This documentation must be available to those authorized to design, install, inspect, maintain, or operate electrical equipment at that location.
Installers, Lighting Designers, Inspectors, and Electricians must realize that risk analysis and determination of hazardous locations is not a process that should be performed in the field during installation.
The specific classifications pertaining to hazardous (classified) locations in a building are made after the design team, electrical engineers, manufacturers, etc., have determined the extent of the hazardous (classified) locations.
NEC classification of hazardous areas or locations is not the responsibility of the Installing Electrical Contractor. This is a process that calls for careful analysis in practicality, comprehensive engineering, designs for the most optimum results, and lastly - electrical safety. Before electrical equipment (including lighting) and wiring are installed in a hazardous (classified) location, the classification or the area must be known.
If an LED retro-fit is planned, and no drawings are available, look at the lights that are in use in the building now. If the use of the location has not changed from original construction, you should be OK by staying with same Classification of lights already in use in the plant. Look for the UL Safety Label on the Lights and the Classification is shown on this label. If in doubt, contact your Fire Marshall for his input regarding the classification of the location in a building and its use.

Next: Who has the power to enforce the NEC Code (Journal #5)?
Bill Nagengast, President and Lighting Engineer, Solas Ray Lighting, holds over 20 patents in the lighting industry.
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Information provided in these Journals is prepared by Solas Ray to assist users in reading and understanding NEC codes and standards. The information provided, however, are not Formal Interpretations issued pursuant to NEC Regulations. Any opinions expressed are the personal opinions of the author(s), and do not necessarily represent the official position of the NEC or its Technical Committees. In addition, the responses are neither intended, nor should be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.