Pressure on security budgets is driving the recent increase in demand for the remote monitoring of thermal imaging cameras, according to Les Ramsden of Unipart Security.
“Our Monitoring & Response Centre has recently seen a marked increase in interest from consultants, installers and end-users who are interested in protecting sites with thermal imaging cameras instead of deploying traditional video surveillance cameras,” said Les Ramsden, Sales Manager for Unipart Security’s Monitoring& Response Centre.
Les believes that economics is a key reason for the specification of thermal imaging cameras and particularly so for large remote sites. “Although a thermal imaging camera may cost more than a standard security camera, you need far less of them to cover a wide area,” said Les. “However, another major contributing factor is that thermal imaging cameras can operate effectively regardless of lighting conditions. For many projects this could offer a significant cost saving in not having to incur the capital costs, engineering works and energy running costs of installing supplementary lighting.”
Thermal imaging cameras are sensitive to heat sources and are able therefore to detect people in environmental conditions that would be impossible with traditional video cameras such as through smoke, snow, heavy rain and fog. This makes them extremely effective at detection activity both during the day and at night, without the requirement of white or IR lighting.
“If the client is looking to capture evidence grade images, we would of course advise them to specify high definition video surveillance cameras. However, if the requirement is just to be able to verify that there is unauthorised activity taking place in order that, for example, a mobile patrol can be rapidly directed to the location, then thermal imaging cameras are more than capable of carrying out the job in hand,” said Les.
Les points out that the success of thermal imaging cameras at a recently completed project at the UK’s largest solar farm near Swindon, is an excellent example of how remote visual monitoring centres can effectively monitor sites protected by thermal imaging cameras alongside other sites where traditional video surveillance cameras are installed. “At the solar farm, the client has in fact achieved the best of both worlds in that the FLIR PT series systems which have been installed incorporate both a highly sensitive thermal imaging camera and a high resolution Day/Night security camera.”