Why automated detection

There has been much debate about using advanced vision systems (comprising cameras, computers and software) to automatically detect for forest fires when traditional detection methods – such as human lookouts and aerial surveillance – have been used effectively for so long.

There are however definite benefits to making the switch to automated detection, the most obvious being the faster response time, cost savings and greater coverage. The following benefits apply to any good computerised fire detection system – including Envirovision Solutions’ ForestWatch®. To learn about the unique benefits that set ForestWatch® apart from rival systems, click here.

  • Significantly reduces the time between fire ignition, discovery and dispatch:  Minutes matter when you’re dealing with forest fires! Automated detection systems automatically alert up-skilled human lookouts – now vision system operators – to an event from the outset, and provide them with tools to monitor its progression and co-ordinate a response, at a mouse-click.
  • Greatly increases operators’ situational awareness while reducing staff costs: ForestWatch® and other automated detection systems have been designed to enhance the role of lookouts as custodians of the forest. In the case of ForestWatch®, up to 8 cameras can be monitored by a single operator using a multi-view display, vastly expanding their field of view (particularly useful for covering blind spots). Automatic alerts also help combat fatigue and human error.
  • Night time detection for 24/7 protection: While traditional human lookouts cannot work after dark, automated detection systems remain fully functional, offering clients all-day surveillance. In the case of ForestWatch® we use infrared and near-infrared to enhance detection sensitivity after dark. ForestWatch® also includes a Night Mode, which allows a daytime image to be laid over night visuals, providing a useful context for operators.
  • Real-time firefighting made possible: Automated detection systems are a vital tool in monitoring and responding to an incident as it’s happening. Live images and other information gained from system sensors (e.g. temperature, wind speed, wind direction) can greatly assist authorities in coordinating and adjusting their response as, or before, the situation changes. A more efficient response can then be coordinated that minimises risk to firefighters and prevents more property destruction.
  • Multiple uses to enhance operational efficiency all year: ForestWatch® and similar automated systems can be used for more than just fire detection and decision support. Uses outside of fire season include surveillance to combat arson, poaching and theft, and to monitor carbon emissions. The powerful archiving and record keeping function of ForestWatch® also makes it ideal for post-event analysis, and it provides excellent visual evidence in the case of lawsuits and insurance claims.

For more information on automated detection and ForestWatch®, please contact Envirovision Solutions.