History of Video Smoke Detection

How Video Smoke Detection was born

FireVu’s Video Smoke Detection first started in the early 1990’s when an early Video Motion Detection solution triggered on a developing fire in a Power Station Turbine Hall. This detection occurred and the fire was managed, long before conventional point smoke detectors in the ceiling and heat detectors triggered due to the fire.

This first highlighted how Video based Smoke and Flame detection can be a highly effective solution where other technologies may fail.

The voluminous nature of power station turbine halls made early fire detection very challenging – an effective solution was required. Video Smoke Detection (VSD) began through using motion system technology to identify and analyse the behaviour of smoke patterns via visual monitoring.

While detecting the presence of smoke through movement is relatively straightforward, as was demonstrated in this first incident, there has now been many years of development and refinement such that while smoke continues to be detected reliably, false triggers, or “false positives” caused by changing light conditions, slow moving objects etc. are minimised.

It is more than 20 years since we started working on effective solutions initially for the power station sector. The technology has proved effective and our VSD solutions are used by numerous power stations in the UK and Europe and further afield.

The following years have seen further refinements and improvements to the original concept and design. The Smoke detection has been found to be an effective solution in many high volume areas, such as Aircraft Hangars, Road Tunnels, Large and high Atriums, Waste processing plants and a number of other heavy industrial applications. The technology has even been applied in challenging outdoor applications, where there is no other possible alternative.

In the last 10 years, the technology has included Flame detection, and the early systems relied primarily on the flickering patterns of a flame similar to some other similar systems that have emerged since the grant of the initial patents. However the latest solutions rely upon absolute physical laws, precisely correlating Colour and Intensity in accordance with the Plank’s Locus characteristics of Black Body Emitters. This technology, patented in the US, UK and Europe in 2017 and 2018 gives unrivalled Flame detection, with the lowest levels of false positives.

The addition of the Thermopile detector in the very latest models can reduce false positives to zero, while extending the warnings of imminent flame and smoke sources, again in the most challenging of environments.

FireVu, supported through our worldwide networks of offices and specialised representatives, is the first choice for many businesses and organisations wanting to protect their high value assets from the risk of fire, minimising the losses by using the fastest detecting solution available.