In this blog post we wanted to share with you some more information about the development of our FCAM range - how our technology for detecting fire was created and how it evolved and grew into the ground-breaking solution that is available today.
How it began
The idea for the FCam came about in a similar way to others who have explored the possibilities of video fire detection within the market previously.
We wanted to explore how we could use CCTV cameras connected to a back end analytical server system that would analyse pixels that moved and looked like fire, and would then alert and display that image locally, at a monitoring station or something similar.
Here we faced one obvious, major and immediate problem. Everything moves in a video image! By relying on just a single method to detect fire, the numbers of false alarms are vast, with the systems recognising a protected image or video of a fire as a “real” fire.
This for us was simply not good enough. We knew we needed to develop a more reliable and sophisticated system. A smarter system. A system that could truly make the difference.
Developing the FCAM
One of the biggest challenges we faced was that flashing beacons, rain droplets on leaves reflecting sun and vehicle headlights to even the most advanced analytical systems can look like fire. Coupled with the inability to detect in the dark and a reliance on a single point of failure with analytics done on a back-end system, as opposed to at the edge, this was not the future for us. This was going to add more false alarms and potentially put property and lives in danger.
One of the first secondary sensors we looked at adding was thermal imaging for detecting fire. To put it simply, thermal cameras were never designed to detect fire. They were designed to detect changes in temperature. As changes in temperatures are frequent, especially within areas such as waste environments, airports and manufacturing facilities, false alarms are common place. Also, if the fire was to start at a higher temperature than the camera has been set to alarm to, there would be catastrophic consequences…
So instead, we opted for the use of Infrared (IR) technology. Infrared gave us the light source frequency we needed, whilst being able to use our previous analytical technology to analyse the IR image for flickering and movement.
We then combined our IR sensor and analytic technology with a newly updated version of our visual analytics to give the FCam series our signature ground-breaking dual-sensor fire detection capabilities.
Where we are now
Today, the FCam series stands alone as simply the best in video fire detection technology.
It is capable of detecting multiple semi-concealed fires, outdoors, indoors, day or night, at up to 180 metres, typically in less than 15 seconds. All whilst ignoring images of fire, flashing beacons and other forms of light sources.
We are still developing and adding to our revolutionary FCam dual-sensor technology, with some very exciting and huge technical leaps coming in 2019.
To find out more about the FCAM range and how you can arrange a personal demo then click here.