Minimize loss of life and property with video fire detectors

August 2, 2017

Close-up of a fire alarm.

When it comes to fire, every second counts. Early detection is the leading factor to minimizing the loss of life and property, and video fire detectors (VFDs) can aid in the ability to enact a fast response.


A new ISO technical specification was recently published, aiming to increase the effectiveness of these devices. The new spec provides owners and insurance carriers with the international consensus metrics for performance of VFDs, giving users and specifiers the confidence to include them in their fire protection schemes.

According to the ISO subcommittee convener, Isaac Papier:

Industrial fire detection serves two vital functions. First in preventing loss of the facility, but actually, more importantly, in providing a fast response such that operation is not interrupted resulting in severe revenue loss. Today’s modern automated production facilities comprise of huge investments, with revenue flows often exceeding millions of dollars per hour. Any downtime can very quickly amount to huge sums. Further, any shutdown can involve complex and lengthy start-up procedures that further exacerbate the loss. A video fire detector is an excellent tool to effectively monitor a large area in real time.


How does a video fire detection system work?

VFDs use cameras and an advanced mathematical algorithm to analyze a given space. These systems analyze each frame of video multiple times per second, looking at each pixel in the image for signs of fire or smoke, which makes them very early warning detection devices with detection speeds rivaling air sampling. VFDs can tell the difference between fire and flashing lights or other visual “noise.” Unlike with smoke detectors, VFDs detect fires remotely. Because spot smoke detectors rely on smoke actually traveling to the detector, a VFD can spot fire or smoke earlier than a smoke detector can.


What are the advantages of using a VFD system?

  • Monitor larger areas than traditional smoke detectors
  • Faster than traditional smoke detectors
  • Provide situational awareness
  • Continuous video recording, which allows for post-event analysis
  • Can differentiate between different types of fire
  • Triangulate fire location
  • Can identify smoke in areas with hazardous conditions, where spot smoke detectors cannot


For help on enhancing your fire detection system, contact Vanguard Resources.