Your Homes Newcastle is taking an innovative approach to fire safety with a pilot project using thermal imaging cameras. YHN has installed Mobotix thermal-imaging cameras in three of its 45 multi-storey blocks across Newcastle in a trial partnership with OpenView Security Solutions.
The project involves the installation of Mobotix thermal cameras in bin-chute rooms to detect tiny increases in temperature, triggering an alarm in YHN’s central enquiry centre before any fire has had a chance to take hold. This ensures that an alarm is raised with the fire service within seconds of a possible fire. The camera continually monitors the temperature in the room, with information relayed back to the fire service enabling them to better prepare their response.
David Langhorne, assets and development director, YHN, said, “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower have undoubtedly put fire safety in multi-storey blocks under a microscope, but we have been trialling new measures in our multi-storey properties for some time.
“We pride ourselves on being innovative, so it was an easy decision for us to test something that had not yet been adopted elsewhere. The early-detection system provided by OpenView has many benefits; most importantly, the faster response time from the fire service means the potential risk to residents and their properties is minimised.”
The Mobotix thermal camera’s lens is triggered when an unexpected heat pattern occurs and automatically sends an alert to the central control room. Images from the thermal lens are automatically presented to operators, enabling the exact location of hotspots, such as smouldering fires, to be pinpointed. A standard CCTV lens provides a live feed for further verification of events.
Alan Robson, assistant chief officer, Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service, said, “It’s great that YHN is innovating in this way. Using technology to monitor storage areas like this helps improve the information we receive about incidents. This technology can reduce false alarm-calls and improve our response to fires.”