Natural Hazards

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 511–523 | Cite as

A system to detect potential fires using a thermographic camera

  • Chijoo Lee
  • Hyungjun Yang
Original Paper


This paper describes a fire monitoring system, based on a thermographic camera, for electrical appliances in interior spaces. These appliances are at particular risk because they are vulnerable to the carelessness of users (46% of electrical appliances fires are caused this way). The system compromises a thermographic camera, rotating on a two-axis robotic arm, controlled by a fire monitoring algorithm that detects the appliances’ status. Once the system’s accuracy and ability to identify the status of each appliance had been tested, the camera’s rotation sequence was planned. To achieve the best efficiency, bearing in mind that fires can break out very quickly, the sequence was based on the distance between monitored appliances. Over a nine-hour period, monitoring six appliances, the proposed method resulted in about 295 (about 7%) more rotations than those produced by a method of arbitrary ordering. This effectiveness increases when more appliances are monitored over greater periods. The system’s main contribution to fire safety is the application and full utilization of the thermal camera, detecting the beginnings of a fire before it can break out.


Fire monitoring Thermographic camera Robotic arm Rotation planning 



The authors express their thanks to Professor Ghang Lee (Department of Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, South Korea) for his advice and generosity about information offering.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architectural EngineeringYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Maintenance Bureau of Facility ManagementSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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