In any business, fire can cause significant damage and substantial loss of revenue, assets, or productivity due to a period of downtime.
However, fires can be prevented through continuous temperature monitoring, as it can detect hot spots or rising temperatures that may lead to a fire. Temperature monitoring, in combination with effective suppression systems, can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teams, assets and the environment.
How thermal imaging supports fire detection and suppression
An effective method of monitoring temperature to aid fire detection and suppression is thermal imaging.
Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring infrared radiation. Invisible to the human eye, infrared radiation is detectable to thermal cameras, as it releases heat. Thermal imaging cameras measure the amount of heat (or infrared radiation) released from an object or in an area. The findings are then converted into images or videos, which show ‘hot spots’ as bright, orange-like markings, in comparison to cooler areas, which appear dark and blue-like.
Thermal imaging cameras are described as ‘non-contact’, as they have the ability to monitor temperatures from a significant distance, providing view is not obstructed.
Working In Conjunction
Many thermal imaging cameras can work in conjunction with fire detection systems, by providing automatic alerts when the temperature reaches or exceeds a certain limit, or increases at a fast pace. These alerts then trigger an alarm, allowing for quick response and mitigation of high temperatures, reducing the risk of a fire breaking out or spreading.
The ability to detect heat or hot spots that are invisible to the naked eye, and untraceable by traditional fire detection methods, such as smoke detectors, prove Temperature monitoring can largely reduce fire risk and safeguard your teamsthermal imaging cameras to be an incredibly effective addition to any business’ fire detection system.
Thermal imaging cameras can be connected with fire suppression systems, allowing you to entirely automate your response to fires, meaning you can focus on the safe evacuation of your teams. Systems can be integrated to allow your suppression solution to be automatically released if high temperatures are detected, for example.
The benefits of thermal imaging
Using thermal imaging to support fire detection and suppression has a variety of benefits, including:
- Detecting high temperatures before a fire breaks out – the fundamental benefit of thermal imaging is the ability to detect heat or monitor rises in heat before a fire begins. This allows for appropriate measures to be carried out to lower temperatures to avoid risk of a fire breaking out. It can also help to identify shortfalls in existing fire prevention measures, which may have resulted in the increase in temperature, allowing for the rectification of these issues.
- Detecting smaller flames – due to the ability to monitor subtle temperature changes, thermal imaging has the capability to detect and alert to small fires in early stages, which conventional smoke detectors may not be able to detect.
- Monitoring even in low-light – as thermal imaging cameras do not require light to be able to capture an image, they are ideal for use in low-light environments. This allows for continuous monitoring at night when facilities are unoccupied, providing 24/7 protection.
- Protecting in multiple ways – thermal imaging can be used not only for fire detection and prevention, but also for security purposes and equipment monitoring. Their constant monitoring will record any trespassers on-site and can be connected with security alarms to notify facilities owners or managers of a break-in. In addition, the temperature of equipment can be consistently monitored, highlighting any faults that may occur when the facility is vacant
Where is thermal imaging best used?
Thermal imaging cameras can be an effective form of fire detection in a variety of settings. However, they are often most suitable for use in environments which work with combustible materials, have unconventional infrastructures or have operations involving open flames:
- Environments working with combustible materials – many businesses, such as construction, waste facilities, manufacturing and agriculture, work with combustible materials. This increases the risk of fire, as combustible materials can easily cause a fire to begin and spread if combined with heat or other ignition sources. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor these operations consistently, to quickly detect increases in heat that could result in spontaneous combustion.
- Facilities with unconventional infrastructures – across a facility, there are a number of components which can present fire risk. Often, these components are in areas that are difficult to monitor on an ongoing basis. Thermal imaging cameras can monitor specific areas or pieces of equipment, such as boilers or furnaces, to continuously monitor temperatures and alert to any abnormal increases in temperature.
- Operations working with open flames – in facilities where open flames are used in normal operations, such as on construction sites, thermal cameras can monitor existing flames. This ensures the active fire is effectively and safely contained to one area
Thermal imaging cameras are an effective method of enhancing your fire detection and suppression systems, by monitoring temperatures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to protect your teams, assets and the environment.