Meaningful Performance Evalution Conditions for Fire Service Thermal Imaging Cameras.
Meaningful Performance Evalution Conditions for Fire
Service Thermal Imaging Cameras.
Amon, F. K.; Hamins, A.; Bryner, N. P.; Rowe, J.
Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 43, No. 8, 541-550, November
thermal imaging; cameras; performance evaluation; fire
departments; fire fighters; first responders; test
methods; fire fighting equipment; fire fighting; rescue;
hazardous materials; fire tests; NFPA 1801; ASTM E
1543-00; standards; compartment fires; experiments; heat
release rate; temperature; smoke density; FT-IR;
Thermal imaging cameras (TIC) are rapidly becoming
integral equipment for the fire service for use in
structure fires and other emergencies. The Building and
Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National
Institute of Standards and Technology has conducted
research to establish test conditions that best
represent the environment in which TIC are used.
Firefighters may use TIC for field operations ranging
from fire attack, search/rescue, hot spot detection,
overhaul activities, to detecting the location of
hazardous materials. To develop standardized TIC
performance metrics and test methods that capture the
harsh environment in which TIC may be used, information
was collected from users, the literature, and from fire
tests conducted at BFRL. A workshop was held to
facilitate knowledge transfer from the fire service and
TIC manufacturers. Full-scale and bench-scale
experimental work focused on temperature extremes and
the presence of obscuring media such as smoke, dust and
water. Consolidation of fire environment data with fire
fighting operations and imaging needs resulted in a set
of performance metrics and test methods that relate to
the conditions and tasks encountered by firefighters in
structural fire fighting applications. This work is
included in a new draft standard on fire service TIC.