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Hazardous areas are locations in which an explosive atmosphere may develop under certain conditions. 

The explosive atmosphere is a mixture of air and flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour, mist or dust in which, after the ignition, the combustion spreads rapidly to the whole mixture (explosion). 

In compliance with the 1999/92/EC directive, the user is bound to subdivide the hazardous areas in classes according to the frequency and the period of time in which an explosive atmosphere can occur.