Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Evaluation Metrics Proposed For Firefighter Thermal Imagers

Date:
January 4, 2006
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Choosing the most appropriate thermal imager or infrared camera for firefighting can be a difficult decision. No standardized performance guidelines exist for these devices specifically tailored to first responder needs. Last month, researchers submitted recommendations to the National Fire Protection Association that outline evaluation methods for thermal imagers as used in six critical emergency situations.

A NIST researcher uses a thermal imager to view a fire at the NIST Large Fire Facility.
Credit: Image credit: Courtesy NIST

Firefighters are starting to recognize the potential usefulness of thermal imagers or infrared cameras for saving property and lives. Choosing the most appropriate thermal imager for a particular use, however, can be difficult. No standardized performance guidelines exist for infrared camera devices specifically tailored to first responder needs. For example, the devices may be used to locate victims in a burning building or to pinpoint fire sources in a smoky environment.

Related Articles


Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hope to change that situation. Last month they submitted recommendations to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that outline evaluation methods for thermal imagers as used in six critical emergency situations. These recommendations include tests to assess durability as well as image quality.

While firefighter applications represent less than 10 percent of the $1.2 billion worldwide annual market for infrared cameras, the NIST researchers say that the performance evaluation methods will be very important to the first responder community. "Right now," says Francine Amon, leader of the NIST team, "fire departments have to base their thermal imager purchasing decisions on manufacturer's literature, personal experience and word-of-mouth recommendations. Standardized performance metrics and test methods should improve the selection process for these potentially life-saving devices that cost an average of $10,000 each. They also should encourage technological innovation for the first responder community."

The NIST researchers suggest performance metrics that would reveal a thermal camera's ability to (1) detect unusually hot spots, such as electrical outlets and light ballasts; (2) guide fire hose streams toward the fire source; (3) "size-up" thermal conditions inside a building, such as hot walls or ceiling sections, in preparation for entry into a room; (4) identify faces and bodies of firefighters and victims for search and rescue operations; (5) find hot spots and hidden smoldering during reconnaissance in the aftermath of a fire; and (6) locate hazardous material spills. The NFPA's Committee on Emergency Service Electronic Safety Equipment is expected to review the suggestions in 2006.

###

In addition to NIST, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) are providing funding for NIST's ongoing thermal imaging performance evaluation project. NIST, DHS and USFA recently sponsored a workshop at NIST on "Thermal Imaging Research Needs for First Responders." A copy of the proceedings is available at http://www.fire.nist.gov/. A USFA Web site discussing the project is available at www.usfa.fema.gov/research/safety/nist3.shtm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Evaluation Metrics Proposed For Firefighter Thermal Imagers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051226100521.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2006, January 4). Evaluation Metrics Proposed For Firefighter Thermal Imagers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051226100521.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Evaluation Metrics Proposed For Firefighter Thermal Imagers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051226100521.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins