If you are a fan of the special ops movies, you might have come across thermal imaging cameras (TICs). Before TICs, the firefighters were unable to see through the smoke putting them in great danger. Today, fire departments are using this piece of technology for interior structural firefighting.
Our guide will help you get the best thermal imaging camera for firefighting, both for the helmet-mounted and handheld units. You can apply all these cameras in diverse missions, including searching for missing persons in a smoky environment. They use superior technology to detect variation in temperature. Read the guide below to find more including specific models that our expert team has suggested.
Table of Content:
Need to find the exact information about our selected top cameras? Check this table of content to navigate through the article and jump to the specific section you’re interested in:
- 5 Best Thermal Imaging Camera for Firefighting Review 2021
- How to Use a Thermal Imaging Camera for Firefighting
- Why Do Firefighters Use Thermal Imaging Cameras?
Comparison of Table:
Here is a comparison chart among all the thermal imaging cameras for firefighting we selected. Check it out if you want to do a quick comparison to select the one with the right features:
5 Best Thermal Imaging Camera for Firefighting Review 2021
These cameras may look alike in some cases, but they differ in applications, cost, and versatility. Follow the guide keenly, and you will acquire the knowledge for purchasing the best thermal imaging camera for firefighting.
1. New Higher Resolution 320
This Thermal Imaging Camera works pretty great at capturing temperature, no matter for which purpose you’re using it. Besides, its capability of functioning well under harsh conditions will surely impress you. It is easy to use and comes with a comfortable grip making it one of the best thermal imaging camera for firefighting.
It comes with a clear resolution monitor so you can view targets at any angle without worrying about the clarity. Also, the accuracy level of the camera will amaze you. The equipment uses an advanced IR Infrared Thermal Imager for easy firefighting. Besides, you can use it for other things such as thermal inspections, HVAC, reading the traffic, and so on.
One of the most significant challenges that firefighters during their missions are hostile fire conditions. This thermal camera can operate well under temperature disasters from low to high. You can use it with a temperature as low as 20° Celsius to up to 300° C. Also, it can work well at a high altitude of up to 170 feet above the ground.
New Higher Resolution Features:
- It includes 5 Color Scale Palettes in rainbow, black and white, cold color, and iron red to ensure easy visualization.
- The long-lasting battery of this camera can last up to 3 hours, and the good news is they are rechargeable.
- You’ll get an excellent resolution on the display for comprehensive coverage and improved accuracy.
- The camera is adjustable from 0.01 to 1.0. That means you can easily focus on distant targets without straining.
- It’s easy to use and you don’t have to read tons of documentation to learn how to operate this camera.
2. 220 * 160 IR Resolution Infrared Thermal Imager
If you need a handheld thermal imaging camera for firefighting, then this apparitor might be your best option. It has a design specifically for fire instances since it offers a higher resolution for complete coverage. Besides, the model is fairly lightweight which makes it compatible with different applications where you need to move fast.
A smoky terrain is challenging to view and predict the location of the target. For that reason, this camera comes with Infrared imagery to ensure you receive information regardless of the environment. Also, it comes with a larger display screen for effortless data reading and clarity.
Many users like thermal imaging cameras because of their flexibility. Apart from firefighting, you use the model for the home inspection, accurate temperature reading, archaeology, farming or even traffic reading. Furthermore, it is easy to use and ideal for both beginners and professionals as it has an easy to understand control panel.
220 * 160 IR Resolution Features:
- It includes a USB and a 2.0 USB port for sharing information and an SD card with a 3 GB memory card.
- You will get a higher resolution of 220 * 160 to allow the user access to a broader range of imagery.
- You can easily select from 5 color palettes; some of the colors include Cold, Rainbow, Black, Iron and Red White.
- The grip of the camera is comfortable for ease of use when working for extended periods.
- The camera comes with a gun-like shape giving you an easy operation on various angles.
3. FLIR TG165 – Spot Thermal Camera
Searching for the best brand of firefighter thermal imaging camera? FLIR TG165 is a top pick. This thermal camera is widely popular because of its microthermal sensor that stands out from any other sensor technologies. Also, it differs from other imaging cameras in this list due to its complete applications.
The accuracy of this thermal camera is fantastic. It comes with an accuracy of between -1.5 to +1.5%. For this reason, it becomes a useful component of firefighting and other applications, such as eliminating blind guesswork, measuring temperature, farming, and agriculture.
This model allows you to focus on smoky targets without any shortcomings because of a harsh environment. Also, it will enable you to work in hot climates using its rigid structural integrity. The imagery shows a crosshair on the screen to pinpoint the thermal scanning area.
FLIR TG165 Features:
- You’ll get an 8GB Micro SD Card for enlarged storage. Also, the USB cables allow you to transfer information from the instrument.
- It comes with a focus distance of 4 inches. This distance reduces to minimum for increasing accuracy.
- FLIR TG165 includes a safe 24:1 spot size ratio for easy distance approximation from you and the object.
- The camera has a rechargeable battery that runs for up to 3 hours with a single recharge.
- It is durable, compatible with day to day operations, you can easily operate it with an easy-to-understand control panel.
4. Infrared Thermal Imager IR Camera
This thermal imager takes the technology of firefighting to the next level with various features. It includes some of the best thermal tech and delivers the results with a sharp display with 220×160 resolution. It enables you to locate small targets from a greater distance of 20 cm up to 50 cm.
It will give you a clear result from the heat sources with clearer and sharper quality images. On top of that, it comes with a broader display screen for quality thermal imaging and exact image positioning. Besides, the camera can sustain a temperature of -4℉ to 842℉ hence able to capture all object temperature.
To help you determine the output with a clear understanding, this camera comes with 5 different color pellets. You can quickly decide your next move with the visual result using these pellets. It’s perfect for anybody, no matter you’re a professional or a beginner at using it. you’ll also get a pair of gloves for free with the imager which comes in the hardshell carrier box.
Infrared Thermal Imager Features:
- It covers a broader space of view of 35×26 degrees and this makes the imager the right choice for firefighting.
- You’ll get an adjustable Emissivity and 5 different color palettes with it to determine the output easier and quicker.
- This thermal imager comes with a higher sensitivity of 0.07℃. With this, you can see even the slightest temperature change.
- It includes a USB charger and a Micro USB cable for easy data transmission.
- ITC629 uses infrared technology, which transforms heat into images and allows you to analyze readings easily.
5. New Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager Imaging Camera
You can choose this model if you need good cheap thermal imaging cameras. Just like the ITC629, the New Infrared (IR) is also the right choice for locating a small target from a larger distance. It displays images using infrared technology, which transforms heat into visible images.
The quality of images from this thermal imager remains unquestionable. It has a whopping 19,200 (120 * 160) resolution for easy recording of readings. As a firefighter, this instrument will help you detect the variation in temperature change instantly hence making the right call.
You’ll find using this camera really handy at handling because it’s lightweight and portable. It’s usable for other applications such as engineering, manufacturing, farming, or body heat detection. You can easily analyze all the heat issues using the spatial distribution for any sort of temperature differences while imaging.
New Infrared Features:
- The New Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager includes a larger screen for a comfortable scanning.
- You’ll get long-lasting rechargeable batteries with it that can give you backup for up to 3 hours.
- It comes with a highly sensitive sensor to measure the smallest temperature change.
- There is an USB data transfer port with which you can transfer the images into your PC.
- You’ll get 5 different color pellets to indicate different types of temperature changes.
How to Use a Thermal Imaging Camera for Firefighting
Thermal Imaging cameras use advanced technology to create visible images for the firefighters. Follow these steps below to know how to use a thermal imaging camera in various applications as a firefighter.
Motor vehicle crashes:
- First, check whether there is spilled fuel on the ground.
- Second, use the Thermal Imaging Camera to check the location of the passengers on the vehicle.
- Third, check on the car’s physical conditions and conclude the magnitude of the accident before going for the rescue.
- Almost all the thermal imaging cameras use a unique infrared technology that transforms heat into visible images.
- Thermal imaging cameras detect the varying heat signatures in case of a fire incident. Focus the camera on a door or a burning building wall to get the actual heat source.
- TICs don’t provide clear visible images. The images detected by these cameras are similar to those of a side mirror of a car. Ensure you read the visualized data keenly to avoid confusion.
- Take distant measurements from where you are to the fire hotspot to set a defensive barrier.
- You can use the handheld thermal imaging camera to detect the variation in a given environment’s temperatures. Besides, you’ll get a clear reading of dangerous material in containers and take necessary precautions.
Why Do Firefighters Use Thermal Imaging Cameras?
Firefighters use these cameras on several occasions. These instruments have a wide range of applications that you need to know.
- TICs can help find survivors’ location easily in cases of motor vehicle crashes.
- Also, it helps detect any fuel spillage, which might cause a further accident.
- The handheld thermal imaging cameras might be the most significant innovation to take them anywhere.
- They offer features such as multiple images display and a wider viewing angle.
- Firefighters use them for search missions and rescue operations.
- Thermal imaging cameras can help the firefighters spot the hotspot of the fire and solve the situation.
- It is applicable in deep surveillance missions.
- These instruments are critical in hazmat incidents, such as determining the level of contents in a container.
- Firefighters use the TICs to evaluate the leaking of dangerous liquids by checking the temperature variation between the vapor and the liquid inside.
Getting the best thermal imaging camera for firefighting should be a lot easier with the above information and reviews now. They offer advanced features to the firefighters. Also, they provide a wide range of applications such as hazmat responses, motor vehicle accidents, outdoor search, and rescue operations.
In terms of qualitative analysis, New Higher Resolution 320 * 240 is the best overall. It offers a higher resolution and a greater viewing angle. This thermal imaging camera works for a wide range of thermal detection from 20° C up to 300° C. Besides, you can work with it at a high of 170 feet above the ground. Go for this TIC if you need versatility and high efficiency simultaneously.