Timely action & fewer false alarms

Timely action & fewer false alarms

Fire is often associated with heavy materials and firefighting equipment losses and casualties and is a key public security concern for authorities all over the world and the use of fireproof material can be traced back to ancient Rome reflects Hakan Ozyigit, Regional Director of Security Systems & Building Technologies, Robert Bosch Middle East FZE.

Centuries ago, the development of the first equipment for fire extinguishing in the form of hand pumps and fire hydrant installation for water supply during the Great Fire of London in 1666 are early examples of more complex fire protection infrastructure.

Today, advances in science and engineering are supporting public safety in ways previously unimaginable, protecting people, assets and the broader environment. The integration of fire detection technology with microelectronics and information technologies has increased the reliability of fire monitoring systems and its reach.

In most buildings across the world, common monitoring systems are limited to smoke detection technologies to detect fire. They may feature several other tools such as point-type ionisation and photoelectric detectors, aspirating smoke detectors and linear beam-smoke detectors, but what reduces their effectiveness is the time required for the smoke to migrate to the detector. Environmental factors such as dust and humidity can create false alarms or pollute the detector. False alarms are also generated due to cigarette smoke or incense burning and sometimes even due to technical matters like faulty smoke sensors or configurational problems in fire alarm panels. These false alarms trigger panic, along with unnecessarily mobilising Civil Defence and medical teams.

This is where the application of video-based detection technologies that use intelligent analytics is critical in early detection. A video camera with a special algorithm can detect a fire as soon as the smoke enters its field of view and thus does not require the smoke to migrate to the sensor. Video-based fire detection can greatly complement and amplify the abilities of existing technologies that have an EN-54 certification such as sprinklers or smoke detectors, greatly increasing speed and accuracy of fire detection, also offering possibilities for monitoring and surveillance. Bosch’s video-based fire detection Aviotec is the first and so far, only VdS-certified, innovative solution for reliable early fire detection.

Using video-based fire detection to distinguish flames complements the installation and operation of optical flame detectors. Video monitoring systems due to their dual benefits deliver significant time and cost savings by reducing false alarms. But typically, in most video systems, false alarms are often triggered by changes in light and movement.

Therefore, video-based fire detection systems feature a unique physical detection model that ensures the reliable differentiation of disturbances and real fires. There are cutting-edge technologies and intelligent software algorithms that analyse the video footage directly in the camera, reducing any installation efforts and costs because there is no additional unit required. This innovative technology provides more accurate information making it one of the best video-based fire detection platforms available. Such technology will especially find applications in densely populated spaces, warehouses, airport hangars, railway stations, transportation and utilities such as energy to minimise detection time with low false alarm rates.

Ultimately, fire risks should not be taken lightly. It is important to have in place systems that can detect and ensure the reliable differentiation of disturbances and real fires so that resources are used most effectively.