SAFETY APPROVED FLASHLIGHTS: UNDERSTANDING THE REQUIREMENTS
Any flashlight that is intended to be used in a hazardous location must be tested and approved for that use because it is considered a source of ignition. Flashlights create heat using electrical energy, have a filament that can burn at extremely high temperatures, and produce a small spark when they are switched on. Add air and a hazardous atmosphere, and a fire or explosion could result.
Article 500 of the USA's National Electric Code (NEC), published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), describes flashlights as portable or transportable equipment having self-contained power supplies, which could potentially become an ignition source in hazardous locations.
Manufacturers of flashlights intended for use in hazardous environments must take special precautions in the design of their products to reduce the likelihood of a hazardous substance ignition taking place. Their flashlights must also pass a series of rigorous tests, conducted by recognized safety approval organizations, before being approved for use in potentially hazardous environments.
For additional information, download Safety Approved Flashlights: Understanding The Requirements (PDF).