When travelling to conferences or training weekends teaching thermal imaging to firefighters we are repeatedly asked which brand camera is the best? While everybody has their preferences, the more practical is “the one you have been thoroughly trained to use.” Sure, there are differences between color palettes, grips, and sensitivity modes but, that is an object focused mentality. How competently you apply the camera to your operations will mean more than the name the case bares. Much of the United States fire service has failed in this area for the last couple decades. The technology integrated into the cameras has far [...]
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What does NFPA 1801 state in regard to colorization? Section 18.104.22.168.9 In the TI BASIC mode, the heat color reference bar shall have a color scale that includes only the following colorization: Grey- at the bottom of the heat color reference bar before color indication begins and shall not be more than 50 percent of the overall height of the heat color reference bar.Yellow- at the low end of the heat color reference barOrange- in the middle of the heat color reference barRed- at the high end of the heat color reference bar This the NFPA 1801 approved color/temperature progression for thermal [...]
TIC’s can’t see through glass? They actually can’t see through anything but you’d be amazed what you can see! Check out our Blog Post-Overcoming Thermal Imaging Camera limitations: Firefighters are taught that thermal imaging cameras cannot see through glass and this is technically correct. But, have we considered the following: Depending on the type of glass, IR energy can be transmitted through single pane leaded glass or automotive glass with high metal contents. The materials that frame the glass emit/absorb heat thereby can produce a noticeable heat signature known as thermal bridging.The caulk and insulation around the openings (windows and doors) [...]
Low Hertz, Hurts Performance Ever been frustrated with your internet connection as it seems to make live videos freeze for a second and then catches back up quickly? Thus causing you to miss pieces of information you had been glued to the screen to see. The same thing can happen with your thermal imaging camera. Imagine scanning a room in a hurried yet controlled motion to aid your search. Yet, as you move the camera from shoulder to shoulder it freezes causing you to not see half the room as your partner moves ahead to perform a hands on search. This [...]
Enhanced Stream Placement: Intelligently Aggressive Fire Attack The issue with most water application isn’t the nozzle. It is the nozzle man. Water is often applied based on a method and an educated guess. In many cases, firefighters have withheld water because they didn’t see flames but were being cooked by a blast furnace of superheated gases and convection currents. Tactical Thermal Imaging allows firefighters to direct their streams more efficiently toward where the water is needed most rather than all over or missing superheated areas. In many cases, of watching firefighters on standard training fires we have noted that firefighters only [...]
Enhanced Search Methodology: The use of thermal imaging cameras has enhanced the firefighter’s overall effectiveness particularly in the area of searching for victims or downed firefighters. In the late 90’s several large and well known fire departments were invited to participate in a study. They were given two identical search scenarios: one conducted without a TIC and one conducted with a TIC. The results were staggering. Without the use of a TIC the search crews missed the victims 60% of the time whereas they found the victim with the TIC while searching 99% of the time. In addition to this the [...]
Why is Field of View Important? In our curriculum we cover the five key attributes of thermal imaging in depth and they are as follows: Field of View Temperature Modes/Application Modes Resolution & Color Palettes Distance to Spot Ratio: Emissivity What is Field of View? Field of view is the total field, measured as an angle, within which objects viewed by a TIC. Narrower FOVs generate more life-size images and distances, while wider FOVs place more image on the display. Therefore it is a tradeoff for us as firefighters to have a wider field of view so we can see the big [...]
Thermal Imaging Needs Assessment/Purchasing/Training Guidelines: The following document was developed to assist departments with purchasing thermal imaging cameras and with their training needs. This document is the sole property of Insight Training LLC and is copyright protected. It may be used within the confines of the host organization but not for financial gain or instruction purposes without the written permission of Insight Training LLC. I. Decide upon purchasing either a Situational Awareness TIC (mask mounted/SCBA mounted or small low cost/low resolution) or a Decision-Making TIC (High Resolution, High Dynamic Range, Fast Processor Speed, Multi-Application Use). You may read the full article [...]
As a training officer I am always interested in any form of post incident analysis or after action review my department completes. Whether it is formal or informal it doesn’t matter, the lessons often learned by individuals from these moments need to be shared to the entire department. From my perspective, my organization is not overly staffed and any form of a rapid intervention crew will be late in the incident. Therefore, mayday prevention is vital and proactive steps must be taken. And any lesson learned that is shared might prevent a similar occurrence with more tragic consequences. As a firefighter, I have been amazed [...]
Thermal Imaging-Understanding High & Low Sensitivity. This short article is an attempt to clarify a few misconceptions in regard to fire service thermal imaging cameras. All fire service thermal imaging cameras automatically switch gains or sensitivity modes based on the following: The overall heat detected within the field of viewAnd at a certain percentage of pixels affectedThe majority of fire service TIC’s are dual mode sensitivity which is known asHigh & Low Sensitivity. The NFPA 1801 requirement states that when a LWIR (Long Wave Infrared) fire service TIC switches to Low Sensitivity a green equilateral triangle will appear in the upper [...]