Ex equipment might not be able to prevent your bread from burning, but it can play an important role in stopping your flour from exploding.

In the April 2014 edition of its e-tech newsletter, the International Electrotechnical Commission highlighted the risk for flour and other dust arising from the storage of grain to explode in the presence of a flame.

“It might surprise the average home baker to know that if you throw a handful of flour into the air close to an open flame, a small explosion will take place,” the IEC warned.

“This example highlights the potential for explosion in silos and grain processing plants.”

According to the organisation, in the past 40 years in the US alone, more than 250 people have died and over 1,000 were injured in over 600 incidents of explosions in grain elevators.

Preventing such a disaster requires the use of ex equipment, so there are no sources of ignition for the stored grain dust or flour.

This equipment can range from ex lighting and ex heating, to ex enclosures for electric motors and cabling, to protect against arcs and sparks, open flames, and electrostatic discharge.