Technological availability and improvements have helped thermal imagers become common tools in applications that range from household engineering to emergency response. Handheld thermal imaging cameras are relatively new, though the technology has existed for centuries. Today, thermal imagers are specifically designed for certain applications. For example, Bullard Thermal Imagers are created for firefighters. These imagers can withstand intense heat and help firefighters more effectively and safely do their jobs.
Learn more about Bullard models and how thermal imaging is used in firefighting.
Thermal Imagers in Firefighting
Thermal imaging cameras (TICs) capture an image using infrared radiation. The image shows the temperature of the object being captured. Infrared radiation is invisible to the human eye, though we feel it as heat. Thermal imagers use technology to convert infrared energy into electrical signals displayed in an image. A sensor detects the heat of an object, and the camera displays the infrared radiation so human eyes can interpret it.
Most TICs portray warm objects with warm hues like yellow, orange and red. The hotter the object, the brighter and lighter in color it will appear on the imager, often showing up white. Cooler objects are typically portrayed by hues like purple and blue.
Thermal imagers are used widely in various applications and industries. One industry in which TICs have grown in popularity is firefighting. Firefighters have dangerous jobs that sometimes require entering burning buildings to rescue trapped people and pets and putting out fires within the building. A fire creates low visibility from contaminants like ash, smoke, dust and other debris, which makes entering a burning building a high risk and increases the challenge of finding survivors.
With a thermal imager, firefighters can detect body heat in the midst of low visibility conditions and darkness. TICs are important tools to help firefighters locate and rescue victims trapped in a burning building. They can also help firefighters detect hidden fires, hotspots and other potential ignition sources. These objects will illuminate on the camera display, helping firefighters determine their course of action.
Benefits of Thermal Imaging Cameras for Firefighting
Given the risks associated with fighting fires, TICs are extremely beneficial for firefighters and other emergency professionals like first responders and medics. In the past, firefighters blindly entered burning buildings to look for fire sources and survivors. With thermal imagers, that process has become much more efficient and safe. Here are a few ways thermal cameras can benefit firefighters.
Thermal imagers provide a way for firefighters to see when visibility is low or non-existent, making it significantly easier and safer to navigate burning buildings. Whether entering the building alone or as a team, firefighters can more effectively understand the environment and gain improved awareness of the situation. They'll be better equipped to make the best decisions in stressful moments with increased visibility and information.
These factors ultimately improve firefighter safety, as they won't have to make blind decisions when determining a course of action. For example, TICs help inform firefighters of the more hazardous and hot areas of a burning building, which helps them avoid running into dangerous situations unexpectedly.
Assistance in Locating Fires
Every fire situation is different and requires firefighters to think on their feet and work to ensure each fire is thoroughly extinguished. Just because a fire is seemingly put out from the building's exterior doesn't mean there aren't fires originating from cavity walls or underground spaces. Additionally, hot spots can rekindle if not extinguished properly.
TICs help firefighters more effectively and efficiently locate fires and potential ignition sources that could rekindle. The faster firefighters can locate fires and hotspots, the quicker they can be extinguished, which can also help manage damage. The ability to reduce rekindles is extremely beneficial, as it helps firefighters complete their job faster and helps limit the damage the fire would cause if it restarted.
Durability in Harsh Conditions
Thermal imagers for firefighting are designed to withstand hot, harsh conditions. Their durability is often unmatched, with the ability to withstand drops from heights and operate when exposed to extreme heat. Some are even designed to function after being submerged in water. Firefighting involves exposure to intense conditions and environments, and TICs can operate under harsh conditions to help firefighters.
Time is critical when fighting fires. One of the biggest benefits of using thermal imaging in firefighting is how much faster searches can be conducted. The time it takes to search a burning building can mean the difference between life and death for trapped victims and the firefighters themselves. TICs help firefighters detect and locate trapped victims faster, speeding up the entire search and allowing everyone to get out quickly.
Why Choose Bullard Thermal Imagers
When it comes to choosing thermal imagers for firefighting, quality is a necessity. While Bullard Thermal Imagers are at the higher end of the price spectrum, they're well worth the investment and are considered top of the industry, as their cameras have a proven track record of quality. From outstanding image quality to impressive durability, consider some of their top models, including the following:
- NXT model: The Bullard NXT Thermal Imager is National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1801 Certified. It offers crisp, clear images at a relatively low cost. The NXT can record several hours of video and hundreds of images in low- and high-grain modes. It can also run for several hours at a time, preventing firefighters from being left in the dark.
- QXT model: The QXT model automatically colorizes a wide range of temperatures and can be activated by a single switch for ease of use. This thermal imager can function when exposed to several hundred-degree heat and is designed to be ergonomically correct for comfort.
- TXS model: The Bullard TXS thermal imager is a compact, lightweight model designed for ease of use and convenience without compromising image quality and durability. The TXS model offers high-quality imaging and performance at an affordable price, allowing more firefighters to benefit from thermal imaging on the job.
Get a Quote From Bunker Gear Specialists
At Bunker Gear Specialists, we believe you should never compromise regarding fire safety. As Lousiana's exclusive Bullard retailer, we sell the industry's best thermal imagers to help ensure firefighters have quality gear to do their jobs safely. We can also send your damaged thermal imager for repairs and then quickly return it to you so you're not without it for long. All the thermal imagers and related products in our inventory exceed state fire safety regulations to ensure you have reliable gear.
Contact us today for a quote on Bullard Thermal Imagers and other thermal imaging equipment.