The advancement of technology in recent years has led to the innovation of devices that are saving lives. One such example is the thermal imaging technology which revolutionized firefighting.
Most fire situations are perilous, making it almost impossible to salvage anything. However, thermal imaging cameras help firefighters to work efficiently and save more lives.
There are many reasons why regular thermal cameras are not suitable for firefighting. First of all, they cannot operate properly and provide useful data in harsh condition. Also, they have a low detection range.
Even though thermal imaging cameras may be slightly expensive than regular thermal cameras, they are perfect for firefighting. This is because they are designed to operate even in high temperature and other rugged situations.
Here are some of the best thermal imaging cameras for firefighting
i. FLIR K2
Although it features a very basic interface, it has an impressive resolution of 160×120. In addition, it has a temperature detection range of -4 to 932 degree Fahrenheit. The captured data is displayed on the large 3-inch LCD screen, which is backlit to use even in low light conditions.
It has a sufficient field of view to provide the firefighters with more information. Also, it is practical for firefighting applications as it comes with a strap so that it does not accidentally fall. In addition, lithium batteries can support the camera for long periods without dying.
- Lanyard strap
- Backlit LCD screen
- Compact design
- Feedback on the display lags
ii. FLK-TIX500 60HZ Thermal Imager
This is a very popular thermal imaging camera for firefighting applications. It is handheld, which means it can be navigated easily to the affected region to get information. Also, it features 180 degrees articulating lens that offers a wide field of view.
The FLK-TIX 60Hz camera is popular because of the accurate temperature readings and enhanced image quality. These are very crucial features in firefighting since they enable the firefighters to spot the exact spot of the fire.
It also features a laser autofocus function. The laser has an in-built distance meter that calculates the distance of the target.
- 180 degrees articulating lens
- Responsive touchscreen
- Enhanced image quality Laser autofocus
iii. Flir K33
Although the K33 is more costly than the K2, it offers more resolution of 240×180. High resolution provides more clear images.
This camera is robust and reliable with rugged construction, which means it can be used even in tough operating conditions. It can survive when dropped from a height of 6.6ft even on a concrete surface.
The screen is large enough, which is practical for firefighters. In an emergency situation, the firefighter will need to access the information easily, which is not possible in a minuscule display.
In the FLIR K33, textural and structural details are more enhanced than some of its competitors. This is also a very convenient feature in firefighting.
- Large display
- Easy to use even when wearing gloves
- Neck strap
- Compact design
- Slightly expensive
iv. Flir K45
The Flur K45 has a resolution of 240×180, which is complimented with FSX technology. It is made with magnesium alloy chassis that is covered with PPSU Silicon rubber aluminum. This means it can withstand the harsh conditions of firefighting.
Although it has a compact design, it is comfortable to use even when wearing gloves. In addition, the interface is user friendly controlled by only three buttons.
- Large display
- Intuitive display
- FSX technology
- Rugged construction
- Slightly heavy
The introduction of thermal imaging cameras in firefighting revolutionized rescue operations. Initially, firefighters were blinded by the smoke and could not perform effectively. In this article, we have highlighted some of the best cameras for firefighting. The FLIR K2 is our top pick because of the broad temperature detection range.