Early fire detection with FLIR thermal imaging cameras saves assets and lives

Fire spreads quickly, destroying buildings, assets and lives. However, thermal imaging cameras from Teledyne FLIR can help prevent fires by detecting hot spots before they ignite. These automated, non-contact temperature measuring devices are prolific in potential fire detection, ensuring their increasing popularity in a host of industrial safety applications.

Fuel storage applications are a case in point. With this flammable commodity, corrosion, leaks and human error can lead to explosive, sometimes catastrophic consequences. Automatically monitoring temperature changes in fuel storage depots with FLIR thermal imaging cameras can avert disaster, satisfy insurer oversight and improve safety for workers and the public. Solutions such as FLIR A50 and A70 smart sensor cameras are ideal for fuel depots requiring built-in, on-camera analytics and alarm capabilities for early fire detection – regardless of light conditions.

Warehouses present another well-established fire risk, despite most being equipped with fire alarms and firefighting systems. FLIR thermal imaging cameras can identify hot spots and provide an early warning response to avoid full-on conflagration before fire ignites. Solutions such as the compact and cost-effective FLIR AX8 thermal imaging camera, with its streaming video output, can provide broadcasts to a control room monitor that directs personnel to the exact location of a hot spot. Users can adjust preconfigured temperature alarms to compensate for temporary changes such as the presence of a forklift or worker.

In a further application example, the storage of certain material, such as coal, wood chips and fertilisers, invites the risk of spontaneous combustion. Here, a thermal imaging camera can provide continuous, remote, 24-7 temperature monitoring of these materials when stored in piles or travelling on conveyor belts. A rugged solution such as the FLIR FH-Series R multispectral fixed camera is ideal. The 4K visible imaging of this product provides rapid verification hot spots, sending images to an operator through a connected video management system (VMS) for instantaneous assessment and deployment of response tactics. The VMS can be part of a Teledyne FLIR end-to-end solution or combine with preferred third-party solutions.

Similar to combustible pile applications, bunker waste is potentially flammable when stored. Self-combustion, heat development due to pressure, spontaneous chemical reactions between disposals and the accumulation of methane gas are all potential fire hazards. Glassworks, foundries, cement plants and municipal waste incinerators can all therefore safeguard their assets and personnel using FLIR technology. Here, it is possible to network solutions such as FLIR A50 and A70 thermal image cameras, providing a scalable system with high spatial resolution and thermal sensitivity.

Remote firefighting provides yet another application where thermal imaging cameras can prove highly beneficial. After all, identifying a hot spot is only part one of a fire prevention solution. Part two is remediation, which can be challenging in remote monitoring scenarios. FLIR thermal imaging cameras and software not only pinpoint hot spots, they can initiate an automated firefighting response, such as turning on a sprinkler system, shutting down a system, or targeting the hot spot to be soaked in firefighting foam – all controlled remotely over the Internet. Here, FLIR offers its A310 ex ATEX-compliant thermal imaging camera mounted in a flame-proof enclosure and featuring an integrated controller with several digital I/O channels and sensors for temperature, humidity and pressure.

Fire can destroy multiple buildings or installations within an extremely short timeframe. The value of the goods that perish during a fire can be tremendous, while the cost of a lost life is impossible to calculate. FLIR thermal imaging cameras help prevent fires by detecting hot spots before they ignite, ensuring there is no longer any need to take that risk.

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