Security Camera




Detecting the risk of fire is always more effective than detecting the declared fire. RCE, your security company in the North offers you in this new article to discover all the advantages of the thermal camera for your company .

Thermal camera or infrared camera?

Thermal cameras (or infrared cameras) create images based on the infrared radiation that is emitted by all objects depending on their temperature. Essentially used for their high detection capabilities, these cameras provide an image based on the temperature differences of the objects present in the scene: the objective is not to provide an image allowing recognition, but to immediately visualize the presence of a body hotter than the reference temperature by representing them on the image by color differences. In terms of number of pixels, the bolometric matrix (image resolution) is considerably lower than for cameras operating in the visible spectral range.

The 4 elements that define a thermal camera

  • Resolution : as with an optical camera, the resolution of the thermal sensor determines the quality of the image obtained. Thermal sensors generally offer a 640×480 or VGA definition.
  • The temperature range : this is the range in which the camera can measure a temperature. It can be of the order of -40°C to +600°C. Not to be confused with operating temperature!
  • Sensitivity (NETD) : measured in mk (milliKelvin), it represents the smallest temperature difference that the camera can detect.
  • The focal length : expressed in degrees horizontal and vertical, it is generally low on a thermal sensor.

It is important to note that a thermal (or infrared) camera should not be confused with a camera equipped with an infrared projector, the latter working thanks to the light reflected by objects, and not by the infrared emitted by these same items!

What uses of the infrared thermal camera for your business?

Of course, the first use of the thermal infrared camera that is usually thought of is detection at night or in total darkness. In fact, thermal imaging capabilities are just as useful during the day as they are at night, which makes their range of use even wider.

  • Perimeter Protection : Allowing detection over long distances, thermal imaging cameras have long been used in a wide range of security applications, such as perimeter protection around industrial sites, airports and power stations or for military applications .
  • Complex scenes : The thermal image is also very valuable for monitoring complex scenes. The thermal camera will be able to detect a person walking among cars in a parking lot long before a visual camera has detected the movement.
  • Respect for privacy : The temperature profile generated by thermal cameras does not display any details allowing the identification of people and thus guarantees confidentiality.

But this technology allows much more than a simple use of intrusion detection. The thermal camera system enters directly into companies’ processes and their fire-fighting strategies and pairs perfectly with a fire alarm system .

Fire risk detection with a thermal camera system

The thermal imaging camera brings real added value in the fight against fires. While the majority of systems detect fire or smoke, thermal cameras reveal abnormally high temperatures, and generate an alarm before the fire starts. This technology is now frequently used in sites where smoldering fires are likely (waste collection), or when it is essential to act upstream of a fire that would be almost inextinguishable .

In industry, thermal imaging is very useful for controlling the quality of electrical connections or the temperature of machines. This technology is also used to assess the level of insulation of homes.

Temperature measurement of the human body with a thermal infrared camera

At the start of the COVID19 crisis, many thermal imaging camera manufacturers offered to use their technology to enable rapid, non-contact fever measurement. If the principle is attractive, its application in the field is impossible.

Indeed, a thermal camera does not measure a temperature, but a temperature difference with respect to a reference value. For a measurement as precise as that of the T° of the human body, it is therefore essential to have a device called a black body which emits a stable temperature to which the camera refers to evaluate the difference in T° between the black body and the measured object. This thermal camera + black body set must itself be used in a place with stable temperature and ambient light.

The effectiveness of a thermal camera depends as much on its characteristics as on the operating conditions

If it is quite possible to buy and use a portable thermal camera without special training, the use of this technology for security purposes or fire risk detection requires compliance with specific rules that only a competent installer can guarantee you.


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