1. #1
    chf jstano
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Effects of temp extremes onTIC's

    Our dept is also in the process of evaluating TIC's.As I sit here this morning the temperature is -10.Over the weekend past we were out all night at a structure with temps at -20.This brought a question to my frozen brain. Does anyone know or have experience with what temp. extremes(60 degrees in the engine to sub zero to superheated in the fire environment back to outside then back in etc.)will have on a camera? This certainly could be a major factor in our decision. Thanks .

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Excellent Question Chief,

    As far as the Bullard unit goes this is the data we have. This comes from a testing facility that does testing to NFPA & ANSI standards, though there are no specific testing standards for a thermal imager, something we need to change.

    Cold - the unit was placed (operating) in a freezer at a temperature of -25 F. At 75 minutes the display began to fade, and at 90 minutes the display was completely dead.

    Heat - the unit was subjected to the same NFPA heat testing standards used for fire helmets and performed to an acceptable standard. In numbers that is 500 F for 10 minutes. In a subsequent test it also operated at 650 F for 5 minutes.

    Cold to Hot - the unit was placed in a freezer at -40 F for 30 minutes, taken out and placed in an oven at 300 F for 15 minutes. No operating problems were noted.

    Based on this, Bullard is confident that the unit will handle these extremes in most cases. I say "most" because with electronics and extremes there are no guarantees.

    As someone who has also fought fire in New York during winter, and has had air pack frozen solid to their turnout gear, I can tell everyone that there are things that might happen under those conditions that would render any piece of equipment inoperable.

    I hope the other manufacturers will respond with the data they have collected.

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

    PS : anyone who is using battery operated equipment should check the post entitled "Word of Caution". Cold will kill most batteries very quickly, especially if they are externally mounted and directly exposed to the cold.

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited January 28, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Very good question. We had previously
    identified this scenario, i.e. "freezing" temperatures then exposure to typical compartment fire temperatures, for one of the field tests which we plan to subject TIC's which we are considering for purchase. Unfortunately, the scenario is all too probable in the winter months where your RIT/FAST team could be on "stand-by" outside the structure for some time then get called into action. Failure of the TIC could be more than an inconvenience at this point.

    Th ability of camera to "weather" (no pun intended) this exposure is not something you're going to extract from the standard vendor info. sheet. This further reinforces the point that you need to determine the possible operating scenarios which you could expose your TIC to then evaluate the camera to those scenarios.

    As TIMan pointed out, the different cameras will behave differently.

    Joe Pechacek
    Hamilton Fire Department
    Hamilton, NY

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest



    The experience we have with temperature extremes is very close to my heart. ICC is located in Utica, New York, and the FireOptic camera was developed in the mid of winter using the great outdoors as a test vehicle. Cold weather extremes is something we are very familiar with.

    Our experience with temperature indicates the greatest problems will occur due to extreme "start-up" temperatures. That is, what is the temperature of the camera as you apply power to it?

    The FireOptic has been designed and tested to start up in temperatures from -20C (-4F) to +60C (141F). Each camera is thermally tested in two ways.

    1. Each unit is "burned in" at 40C for 3 days of continuous operation.
    2. Following the extended burn-in period, each unit is then thermally cycled from -20C to +60C through 10 complete hot to cold to hot cycles. At each thermal extreme, the complete function of the camera is tested.

    Taking any camera from a cold extreme into a hot one should actually be a good thing because the starting temperature of the camera is lower than it might normally be, which helps it run longer before it reaches an unacceptable operational temperature. This same concept applies to taking a hot camera into a cold condition, as it helps it cool off faster.

    Tom Clynne
    President - ICC

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