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Making Safe Waves in Hazardous Areas

As wireless devices such as mobile phones and laptop computers become more reliable and cost effective, there is growing interest amongst the process industry as to the benefits to be found from enabling such devices to be used in hazardous areas. However, unlike most industries this is not a simple task. Installing wireless networks in hazardous areas requires careful, expert planning and execution. John Hartley, Managing Director of Extronics, explains the hazards posed by radio frequency sources and the issues involved when installing wireless networks in hazardous areas, and how to minimise the potential risk.

We've been using radio waves in both the business and consumer worlds for a long time, but it is only in the last decade or so that radio devices have become more prevalent in the process industries. Portable radios and pager devices were the first devices to gain certification for use in hazardous areas, after they had been tried and tested in the wider business world.

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