What Are Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios?

If you work in an environment where you use two-way radios in proximity of fumes, wood dust, or flammable liquids, and your radios are not certified as Intrinsically Safe (IS), then you need to take a moment and read this Tuesday Tip!

It’s no secret that two-way radios are essential tools in many heavy-duty industries like manufacturing, grain storage, and the oil and gas refineries. Two-way radios provide instant and reliable communication across long distances with the ease of just pushing a button and speaking. They allow a direct line of communication between co-works and supervisors without having to leave a station unmanned in order to find a fellow teammate when something is needed. In fact, many studies have found that two-way radios are a great investment for firms because they typically pay for themselves within just a couple of months! However, without Intrinsically Safe radios, you may be exposing yourself and others to a dangerous working environment. One industry that absolutely needs to include Intrinsically Safe 2-way radios is the grain storage industry. According to a recent report by Purdue University’s Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, grain dust explosions continues to be an area of concern for the industry. In fact, the report summarized the total numbers of explosions, injuries, and deaths from grain or dust explosions for the past four years:

Injuries Fatalities
2016 31 22 3
2017 28 43 6
2018 36 29 1
2019 38 44 2

In addition, a recent safety-focused article in Grainnet.com, the magazine emphasized how important Intrinsically Safe radios are to use when there is grain dust present, and how to go about selecting quality two-way radios.

What is an Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radio?

If you look up the word “intrinsic” on the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, you will find that the word means the essential nature or constitution of a thing. When talking about two-way radios, electricity is the “intrinsic” element that makes two-way radios work. Since any electronic device carries an electrical current or charge, two-way radios can create an electrical spark which could be very dangerous in the right situation. For example, as you may recall from your high school chemistry days, only three things need to interplay to create an explosion:

1) Fuel (like flammable gasses or vapors).

2) Oxygen which mixes with the fuel in the correct ratio.

3) Ignition or heat.

According to a 2018 study by the National Protection Association (NFPA), more than 37,500 fires or explosions occur at industrial and manufacturing facilities each year. Even more devastating, these fires result in an average of 20 deaths, 285 injuries, and more than $1 billion in direct property damages.The top three causes of these explosions and fires?

  • Combustible dust
  • Heat or spark
  • Flammable liquids and gasses

Intrinsically Safe radios are specifically designed to operate safely in explosive environments where a spark or heat could contribute to a fire or explosion. People working around chemical plants, oil rigs, coal mines, lumber yards and grain mills must use radios that are Intrinsically Safe in order to avoid an accidental explosion.

What you should look for in Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios

  • Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios should meet military specifications for durability, vibration, and shock resistance
  • Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios should meet all three classifications of hazardous environments including:
  • Class 1: Flammable vapors and gasses
  • Class 2: Flammable dust
  • Class 3: Flammable fibers
  • Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios should be water resistant
  • Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios should have clear sound quality
  • Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios should have a good warranty

RCA Introduces New Line of Intrinsically Safe-Professional Digital Two-Way Radios

As the master distributor for all RCA radio products, Discount Two-Way Radio recently unveiled its newest line of Intrinsically Safe portable two-way radios. Independently certified by OSHA and the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL), RCA’s RDR4300-Intrinsically Safe series is the perfect two-way radio series to protect people and property.

The RCA RDR4330 includes:

  • 100 Percent Certified Intrinsically Safe for all hazardous classifications including flammable gas, vapors and combustible dust.
  • 100 Percent Compatibility with your existing system
  • Includes IS-2000mAh battery, charger, belt clip, and antenna
  • 3-year warranty – best in the industry!
  • Advanced Multi-Mode Functionality including being able to use conventional analog, conventional digital, DMR Tier II, Trunked DMR Tier III, Digital DMR based Trunked Analog MPT 1327.
  • Tough and Reliable design that meets Military Specifications 810C, D,E,F, and G, and are IP67 rated, being able to be fully submersible and dustproof.
  • Three different models for any position, including the standard RDR4300, the upgraded RDR4360 with large, color display and 11 programmable function keys; the advanced RDR4390 unit with large color display, full keypad, and industry leading 23 programmable features like Caller ID, Group and private call, Text Messaging, Pre-Saved Status Messaging, and GPS Tracking.

So, if you are a production manager, engineer, or other factory worker, and you are not using Intrinsically Safe equipment, you may be putting you and others in danger. However, by incorporating Intrinsically Safe two-way radio design standards into your business, you can improve productivity, save money, and most importantly create a safer work environment.

Call discount Two-Way Radio today and speak with one of our expert account representatives about how Intrinsically Safe radio equipment can easily be incorporated into your current radio system.

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