A protection technique which enables the hazardous area classification of an enclosed space to be reduced by purging the enclosure with clean air or an inert gas, and then by maintaining a minimum prescribed positive pressure to prevent the ingress of a flammable atmosphere. Depending upon the original area classification, and the type of purge controller employed, the reduction may either be to a lower hazard classification or to a general purpose classification. Special dilution provisions apply to enclosures containing apparatus with an internal source of released gas, such as a gas analyzer. Pressurized enclosures may be operated on the basis of “leakage compensation” to economize on purge media, or “continuous flow” where interior cooling or dilution of internally released gas is required.
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