FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the FLIR GF77a Gas Find IR camera, its first fixed-mount, uncooled, autonomous leak detection camera designed specifically to visualize methane and other industrial gases. A new camera in FLIR Systems’ optical gas imaging (OGI) series, the connected GF77a provides upstream and midstream gas processors, producers, and operators with the ability to monitor continuously for invisible, potentially dangerous methane leaks at natural gas power plants, renewable energy production facilities, industrial plants, and other locations along a natural gas supply chain.

detect industrial gases

FLIR designed the GF77a to combine its gas detection features with an uncooled, fixed-mount camera platform at nearly half the price of FLIR Systems’ fixed-mount, cooled platform. The camera is engineered to detect industrial gases such as methane, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide to improve inspections and reduce the chance of false readings.

The radiometrically-calibrated GF77a also measures temperature, making it a solution for monitoring tank levels

Featuring a FLIR-patented High Sensitivity Mode (HSM), the technology enables better detection capabilities by accentuating movement to make gas plumes more visible to the user. The radiometrically-calibrated GF77a also measures temperature, making it a solution for monitoring tank levels and inspecting components that may overheat.

gas monitoring systems

The FLIR GF77a provides advanced connectivity protocols that allow for seamless integration into gas monitoring systems to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry, while also making it easy for third-party partners to integrate an analytics solution. This capability provides the industry with a solution that empowers companies to reduce emissions and ensure a safer work environment.

The GigE Vision and GeniCam compatible GF77a includes Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing companies to control and stream radiometric thermal data remotely. It’s also ONVIF-compliant and includes environmental accessories to allow customers to tailor the camera to their daily needs. The FLIR GF77a is available for purchase today globally from FLIR authorized distributors at less than half the price when compared to FLIR Systems’ existing solutions.

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What Trends Are Likely to Change the Fire Market in 2020?
What Trends Are Likely to Change the Fire Market in 2020?

Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of TheBigRedGuide.com. We will be asking timely questions about the fire market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the fire service and market. For our first question, we look to the year ahead and ask our panelists: What trends are likely to change the fire market in 2020?

Video Surveillance In Fire Stations: Is It A Good Idea?
Video Surveillance In Fire Stations: Is It A Good Idea?

Installation of video cameras has been proposed in the aftermath of a drug scandal at a fire station in New York. The firefighters’ union is resisting the cameras. The situation raises questions about the usefulness of video surveillance in fire departments: Is it effective? Does it solve the problem? Does it violate privacy? What is the impact on morale? In Middleton, N.Y., a former fire lieutenant was operating an illegal drug distribution ring out of the city’s Central Firehouse. Reportedly two local volunteer firefighters were among the 29 defendants arrested in the case. Since the scandal came to light, the city has proposed installing surveillance cameras at the Central Firehouse, the Wallkill Street Station and the North Street Station. The Issues Of Surveillance The situation highlights several issues. How effective is video surveillance in fire departments? Are cameras a waste of money and an intrusion? “This has nothing to do with [firefighters’] ability to do their jobs, and they should welcome the city addressing what happened, rather than fight it,” said Mayor Joseph DeStefano, as quoted in the Middletown Times Herald-Record. “Middletown residents deserve transparency on this.” Plans are to position the cameras in the hallways and stairways, at the exterior and first floor of the buildings, and at the entrance and exit to the control room. Notably, cameras are not being installed near living quarters, bathrooms or kitchens. “Swipe-card” entrance technology is also being installed. The situation highlights several issues. How effective is video surveillance in fire departments? Are cameras a waste of money and an intrusion? Do they put everyone under suspicion for the actions of a few? Crime Deterrent Or Management Tool? More broadly speaking, are video cameras a technology solution that seeks to address a wider management problem that requires a more management-driven solution? In terms of privacy, a fire station is a public building and should not be subject to privacy concerns, especially in “public” areas such as entrances and exits, in equipment bays, storage or common areas. Signs should be installed to state that the premises are under surveillance. Living quarters and bathrooms are more private areas that should not be surveilled.In short, video surveillance is more effective as a crime deterrent than as a management tool. In short, video surveillance is more effective as a crime deterrent than as a management toolThe intent of cameras is another issue that can impact their acceptance. Are the cameras to be used for “real-time monitoring,” i.e., in a central location that is “spying” on employees to ensure they are doing their jobs? Micromanagement is never a good idea, and using technology just makes it worse. Such a scenario suggests a lack of employee trust and would likely undermine morale. Addressing Problems And Restoring Trust On the other hand, if the video is recorded and only reviewed in cases of theft or other misdeeds, there may be broader acceptance. In short, video surveillance is more effective as a crime deterrent than as a management tool. An important question to ask before installing video is: What problem am I looking to address? It’s one thing to hold employees accountable, and another to make them think they are not trusted. One might think that using video to weed out a few “bad apples” makes sense, but they should also consider the negative impact In some other cases, the situation may be more of a management issue than a technical issue on the good and loyal employees, who may be discouraged or feel as if their privacy has been invaded. Installing video doesn’t seem like an extreme response in the case of a drug ring operating out of a fire house. After such an event, it’s important to restore a level of public trust in the organization. If video surveillance can help to restore that trust, it might be worth the possible downside. The same case might be made after a series of thefts, or if there is a question of employee safety. In some other cases, the situation may be more of a management issue than a technical issue, and therefore might be addressed by a completely different set of tools that don’t involve technology.

Massive Wildfires in Australia Defy Firefighters; U.S. Joins Response
Massive Wildfires in Australia Defy Firefighters; U.S. Joins Response

Around 2,700 firefighters are working to stamp out the wildfires in Australia that have engulfed 24,000 square miles (about 15 million acres) and killed at least 28 people since the fire season began last July. About 3,000 homes have been destroyed since September, and hundreds more could be at imminent risk. More than 100 U.S. firefighters are among those at work in Australia. They include 59 from California who are assisting the Victoria Rural Fire Service, the largest in the Australian state. Deploying Firefighters The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), Boise, Idaho, is coordinating the deployment of firefighters from the United States, also including 37 in New South Wales. The NIFC is sending firefighters to Australia for the first time since 2010 The NIFC is sending firefighters to Australia for the first time since 2010 as part of an agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior and Emergency Management Australia. In August 2018, Australia and New Zealand sent 140 firefighters to the United States for 30 days. Persistent heat and drought have exacerbated the wildfires, and there have been fires in every Australian state, although New South Wales has been hardest hit. Strong winds have spread smoke and fire rapidly and led to fatalities. A volunteer firefighter died in New South Wales after his truck rolled over in high winds; he is one of several volunteer firefighters who have lost their lives. The Extent of the Fires Whole towns have been engulfed in flames Big cities like Melbourne and Sydney have been affected; large fires have damaged homes in the outer suburbs and smoke has destroyed air quality in urban areas. Whole towns have been engulfed in flames. Rain has helped to ease conditions in recent weeks, but emergency services personnel say it would take 8 inches of rain over a brief period of time to quell the flames. There are 130 fires burning in the state of Victoria alone. Rather than help the situation, light rain can complicate implementation of tactical and strategic back-burns and other methods of bringing the blazes under control. Recovery is also a challenge as responders work to provide essential supplies and power, clear local roads and give support to the newly homeless. Helicopters have dropped supplies to towns at risk. The Australian Defence Force is assisting firefighters, including army personnel, air force aircraft and navy cruisers used for firefighting, evacuation, cleanup and search-and-rescue. The military has been involved in clearing roads closed by fallen trees, burying dead farm animals, and providing fodder for surviving livestock. Large Infernos and Smaller Blazes The 15 million acres impacted by the Australian bush fires are an area about the size of West Virginia, and about seven times the size of California’s 2018 fires. (Another report estimates 28 million acres have been affected – 16 times the amount of land destroyed during California’s worst fire season.) Some are smaller blazes; others are large infernos that occupy acres of land and have been burning for months. Dry lightning started some of the fires, but at least 24 people have been charged with deliberately starting brush fires. At least 24 people have been charged with deliberately starting brush fires Conservatively speaking, more than half a billion animals have been impacted, with millions likely dead. They include birds, reptiles and mammals. More than a third of koalas in New South Wales may have been killed; a third of their habitat is destroyed. Conservation groups fear the disaster could lead to local extinctions and threaten the survival of some species. Previously the largest wildfire disaster in Australia was the Black Saturday fires that killed 173 people in 2009, the deadliest bush fire disaster on record. Bush fires are not unusual (or usually deadly) in Australia. However, this year, thick brush, hotter temperatures and low humidity have aggravated the situation. One Fire Management Officer said the reception of U.S. firefighters in Australia “felt really good” and the mutual respect between the two nations’ firefighter teams was palpable.

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