Holes in the ozone, energy conservation, global warming, rising sea levels, green living, green building, global calamity on a scale never before seen by man. Depending on which media pundit you listen to, life as we know it should be coming to an end soon. Right, wrong or indifferent, the call...
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• Skylights — Skylights are becoming more popular since they are a source of natural light and reduce the dependency of the structure on electricity for interior lighting. These skylights are typically difficult to assess with a thermal imager because they are often reflective on the outside of the glass as well as the interior of the shaft. Skylights are easily located inside a structure fire with a thermal imager and often serve as excellent points of interior ventilation given their location and relative ease of dislodging with a pike pole.
As in all other facets of firefighting, things change over time. Low-E or green living is likely to grow in the future — if not out of apocalyptic environmental concern, then for the simple fact of reduced electricity bills. Even fire stations are being built green with Scottsdale, AZ, recently achieving a highly coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum award from the U.S. Green Building Council. As a firefighter and thermal imaging user, you simply need to be aware of the implications so that you remain prepared to handle whatever it is that life throws at you.
BRAD HARVEY is the Thermal Imaging Product Manager at Bullard. He is a veteran of public safety as a firefighter, police officer and paramedic and is certified through the Law Enforcement Thermographers' Association (LETA) as a thermal imaging instructor. Harvey has worked as a high-angle rescue instructor and is a certified rescue technician and fire instructor. If you have questions about thermal imaging, you may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.