The FireWatch optical sensor incorporates enhanced spectral sensitivity with near-infrared (NIR) sensing capabilities. This permits detection across a wide range of visible light wavelengths (480 to 1200nm) in either day or night — far superior to that of the human eye/CCTV that have ability across a much more limited wavelength range (400 to 750nm).
With 26% of all bushfires in Australia attributed to lightning strikes and most lightning storms occurring at night, the unique ability of the FireWatch technology to automatically detect the presence of smoke at night is of significant importance.
Arsonists generally avoid the times when they will be discovered, so FireWatch’s night vision capability has the potential to assist law enforcement authorities to catch arsonists in the act of lighting fires and allows fire authorities to extinguish these fires before they get out of control.
This has been the experience in Germany over the past nine years where the average number of fires per annum due to arson and other natural cases has not changed however the area of forest burnt has decreased by 80–90%.