05/24/2005 • Fire prevention • Video security and monitoring

D-TEC unveils new remote monitoring VSD system

D-Tec has launched its new FireVu camera-based fire detection system that will allow remote monitoring of a potential fire to ensure 24-hour-a-day fast response, as well as remote testing and diagnostics. The new TCP/IP [Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol]-based VSD – Video Smoke Detection – system will be easier to use and maintain than the company’s now well-established VSD-8 system, plus it will allow smoke detection to be more comprehensively integrated with security and facilities management systems.

While using the same unique detection technology as the VSD-8 system that detects fire using standard CCTV cameras, FireVu is all about faster and more efficient communication. It advances VSD from being a system that is limited to being monitored on local site-based computers, to one where the alarm, including the video images, can be distributed to an unlimited number of remote control centres. It utilises the latest secure communications technology and applies it to the proven VSD platform. This takes sophisticated, accurate and high-speed smoke, flame, or combined smoke and flame detection to a greater level of versatility, integration, cost effectiveness and responsiveness.

The result is that one control centre can monitor any number of FireVu VSD installations, anywhere in the world. There is virtually no limitation on the distribution of alarm information; FireVu can use any number of operating systems and can be monitored on any PC. System faults are also reported via IP, and alarm information can also be sent by SMS [Short Message Service] and MMS [Multi Media Service] to mobile telephones, hand-helds and via email.

As it uses TCP/IP as the communications backbone, FireVu also allows easier and faster monitoring and diagnosis of installations, and hence the quicker resolution of any maintenance issues. Reconfiguring a FireVu system - when, for example, changes have been made to the facility being protected - can be carried out remotely, removing the cost and delay associated with travelling to the site. The same applies should a system fault arise.

All of the alarm events are recorded on the system’s DVR [Digital Video Recorder], so pre and post-event analysis can be carried out to assist the facility’s manager to identify any changes that need to be made to the site’s fire safety plan. This pre and post-event analysis enables the operator to view what, or who, caused the incident. FireVu also allows seamless integration with a site or sites other safety and security systems, enabling greater use of existing security equipment by including smoke and flame detection.

VSD was originally developed in the late 1990s as a reliable early warning fire detection solution for nuclear-powered turbine halls. Briefly, it works by computer analysis of video images provided by standard CCTV cameras – often existing CCTV security installations. Using advanced image processing technology and extensive detection and known false-alarm phenomena algorithms, VSD automatically identifies the particular motion pattern of smoke and alerts the system operator to its presence in the shortest possible time. Because VSD does not rely on the proximity of smoke to the detector, its effectiveness is not affected by distance. The system rapidly detects smoke by seeking small areas of change within an image. These are then passed through a series of filters that seek the particular characteristics that are known to be associated with smoke behaviour.

Among the many major benefits of VSD is its fast reaction time compared with other smoke detection systems on the market that may not detect a fire until it is well advanced. This is because VSD is constantly looking at the source, unlike other systems currently available that rely on the smoke finding the detector. Although it is claimed that other camera-based systems are able to detect smoke, these are motion detectors or obscuration-change detectors that are unable to differentiate between smoke and other sources of movement and so are prone to false alarms. The uniqueness of D-Tec’s VSD is its intelligence; the ability to accurately detect smoke patterns and differentiate between them and other movement patterns.
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