Video Security Products and Takex have developed a solution that leverages the UV-Tron sensor in the Takex FS-5000E ultraviolet flame sensor and the power of Milestone XProtect VMS to detect and report fire events outside. 

VIDEO Security Products has teamed up with Takex to combine the FS-5000E ultraviolet flame sensor with Milestone’s Xprotect VMS. The result of their efforts is a solution that offers end users a capable defence against arson attacks, as well as giving protection for flammable goods storage and fast detection of bush fires.

“The FS-5000E will detect a cigarette lighter at 7m through a 120-degree field of view and larger flame heights at greater distances,” says Wazir. 

“We use that early detection to allow operators in a control room to direct a camera to the location of the flame. You can set the solution up so that in the event of a fire, a fixed camera view is called up to full screen and an alarm is generated. Or a PTZ can be used to go to a preset view of the target area when the flame sensor is activated.” 

By this time we’re poking around in the downstairs demo room at VSP in Sydney having taken a look at the FS-5000E sensor mounted on the wall outside the office overlooking an adjacent section of carpark. The sensor hardware looks a lot like a surveillance camera from side. It’s only from the front that you can see the UV-Tron sensor mounted in the front of the housing. 

“What we have done in this application at the VSP office is take power to the device and then run the normally-closed contact from the FS-5000E to an Adam-6060 I/O, which is capable of handling up to 6 flame sensors,” Wazir explains. “The Adam-6060 I/O is an IP-based input and output board that goes into the network and Milestone picks that up. It’s a simple device that is fully supported as a Milestone channel and it’s this that sends the alarm code to Milestone XProtect. 

“During setup we have mapped out what we want to happen once the signal arrives at XProtect. In the case of our integration, Milestone XProtect can bring a scene up full screen as an alarm event, as well as giving us control of a PTZ and other cameras views. What Milestone also allows you to do is zoom the PTZ into the required location and hold that field of view for a pre-determined time. 

“Not only can you control angle of view and rotation, we can say, wait for 20 seconds, or point there and don’t move until the operator actions the alarm. The range of actions that XProtect can take in the event of an alarm from the FS-5000E really depends on what the end user requires.”   

 

“A surveillance system that is not supported by layers of advanced of technology is a forensic device” 

 

According to Tom Kincade, Takex UV flame detectors used in this way are not part of a building’s fire system, but are designed to give situational awareness through a VMS in the event of arson attack, a fire event in a dangerous goods store. 

“We sell these sensors to sawmills and residential areas prone to bushfires – there are variety of applications,” Kincade explains. “Where we saw a gap was high risk industry, there are fire bombing attacks taking place at high risk sites and there’s no easy way to detect a fire outdoors. You could have a rate of rise sensor but the place will be burning down before it detects flames. 

“Organisations that are concerned about these sorts of threats are very concerned about security and safety and so they are looking to solutions like this and high quality video surveillance to empower first response and investigations,” says Kincade. 


Tom Kincade, Takex

“This is a niche solution for specific threats that exist and that are growing. There’s certainly a lot of interest and people who’ve heard about the sensor but not seen it are calling up and asking what it can do. 

“In my opinion, a surveillance system that is not supported by layers of advanced of technology is a forensic device,” says Kincade. “Operators and security managers who are off-site need all the help they can get and a solution like this is a valuable enhancement to a site’s defensive capabilities.”

Next we troop upstairs to VSP’s training room to take a look at video footage of an arson event. According to VSP’s Brandon Horton, the team has configured the XProtect solution at the office so that 3 external PTZs will respond to a fire alarm event from the system. 

“As soon as the sensor detects flames and reports an alarm event, these PTZs swing around to cover the detection area covering the flame sensor’s field of view that we have set up on the system,” Horton says. “Tom will get emails on phone and laptop, with snapshots of the perpetrator within about 10 seconds of an alarm event and the cameras then go back to preset positions.” 

When a Molotov cocktail is lit in the target area of the sensor, an alarm is generated, a PTZ swings around and a camera view comes up on the monitor. The system works just as you would expect it to. It’s fast – as fast as any other CCTV system alarm event. It takes about five hundredths of a second to generate an initial alarm between sensor and XProtect once the cocktail has actually lit, which is impressive. But what’s most impressive to me is that it manages to pick up a cigarette lighter when one of the boys runs downstairs and lights one in the detection zone. Remember, this is an outdoor environment – a concrete carpark – on a very hot summer day.

The camera views we are getting of the action are very good, too, I think to myself, looking at the monitors. It’s a nasty day for surveillance with full sun and typical hard shadows. The Sony gear VSP is running is especially fine in this application, managing seamless delineations between full shade and full sun. The Canon is doing very well, too. The appearance of the Milestone VMS is typically clean and VSP’s development team has created a fire alarm event that appears part of XProtect. There’s nothing clunky or misshapen about any of this solution from an operator’s perspective, it all just works. 

“You can take a flame sensor direct to the alarm inputs of a single camera but the advantage of taking the input through Milestone is that you can map anything you want,” explains Wazir. “You can up the frame rate, send the event to devices, generate an alarm at a monitoring station – whatever you like.”

Takex FS-5000E

The sharp end of this solution is the FS-5000E flame sensor, and it’s worth taking a look at this unit in a bit more detail. Construction of the sensor unit is polycarbonate with a weight of 550g. The sensor detects ultraviolet rays at wavelengths between 180~260nm and sensitivity adjustments include High (100 per cent) and Low (50 per cent) with a detection timer settable at 1, 6, 15 and 30 seconds. 

The FS-5000E is able to detect a 7cm flame at distances of 10m through a range of 100 degrees horizontal (60 degrees downward) and a vertical range of approximately 75 degrees (15 degrees upward) thanks to its omni-directional bracket. Adjustment range horizontally is 25 degrees by base unit and vertical adjustment is 30 degrees (4 steps) by the sensor head. 

There’s an NO/NC dry contact relay Form C output with an adjustable response time (this is the output VSP is using), a weather-proof housing for indoor or outdoor use. Power supply is 10V to 30V DC and power consumption is 35mA or less.

You can set a time between detection and alarm operation between 2 seconds and 1 minute so as to ignore things like cigarette lighters, and there’s alarm memory with the memory LED blinking for 3 minutes then lighting for 47 minutes with auto-reset. There’s reed wiring, and an operating temperature range between -20 and 50 degrees C. 

Conclusion

This is an important solution for Video Security Products and Wazir is quick to highlight that development of this solution is part of the overall service capability VSP offers its customers. 

“We set up cameras, servers, chapters in hard drives, label cameras, boxes, build spread sheets, build data bases, pack it all up and deliver it to the integrator,” he explains. 

“VSP is committed to going the extra step for our customers and that’s what this solution we are looking at today is all about. Video Security Product is not a box mover, we have different ideas and we create clever solutions to meet serious threats.” ♦

By John Adams