Various defined protection methods can be utilised to mitigate the risks associated with the hazards of a hazardous area. These protection methods are engineered solutions to either remove one of the parameters required for an explosion or in the case of Ex d flameproof contain any explosion to prevent it propagating outside the protection containment.

All electrical equipment in the hazardous area must comply with EN 60079-0 the general standard, except were it is overridden by one of the other standards specific to the protection method.
The primary electrical protection methods are:

Code Protection
Standard Notes & Principles
Ex d Flameproof EN 60079-1 Contain the Explosion
Ex e Increased Safety EN 60079-7 High Integrity Non Sparking
Ex i Intrinsic Safety EN 60079-11 Power limitation
Ex t Enclosure EN 60079-31 Keep out the dust (Not for Gas)
Ex n Various1 EN 60079-6 non sparking
Ex p Pressurised EN 60079-2 see EN 61241-4 for Dust
Ex m encapsulated2 EN 60079-18 rarely used on its own
Ex o Oil Filled EN 60079-6 Rarely used
Ex q Powder filled EN 60079-05 Rarely used
Ex s special EN 60079-33 Used when no other method applies


  1. The EN60079-6 standard for Ex n (for use in Category 3G only) covers a number of protection techniques, Ex nA Non-Sparking, Ex nC Enclosed Break and Ex nR Restricted Breathing. 

  2. if an item is entirely encapsulated it has not connections i.e. aportable device. Ex m is either used as a component with trailing cables or more commonly in confunction with another protection method such as Ex em