Fire Protection

Fast Fire Detection by AI

26.10.2022 - Fire and smoke detector cameras with AI: For recycling plants, direct proximity to flammable substances means that a fire can quickly get out of control.

Thanks to video analysis using AI algorithms, the Aviotec IP starlight 8000 fire and smoke detector camera from Bosch is superior to standard smoke detectors. According to the manufacturer, it is the first system of its kind to be certified with the VdS quality seal since 2018, Aviotec detects fires at an early stage and thus increases safety in industries that are particularly at risk of fire, such as paper production or recycling plants.

Industries with the need for earliest fire detection:

  • Paper productions
  • Recycling plants
  • Recycling warehouses
  • Combusting industry

In recent years, new types of fire risks in industrial plants have resulted in an increased need for the earliest possible fire detection. Fires in recycling plants are increasingly making headlines. Overall, fires at recycling plants in the United States have increased by 26 percent in recent years.

In these plants, the direct proximity to flammable substances means that a fire can quickly get out of control. Fire detection is also made more difficult. Due to high ceilings in recycling warehouses or drafts through half-open areas, conventional detectors are often unable to detect smoke particles in the air in good time and sound an alarm.

Since 2018, an IP camera with intelligent video analysis from Bosch has been offering early fire detection under difficult conditions: The Aviotec IP starlight 8000 fire and smoke detector camera can detect flames and smoke even from a great distance in just a few seconds. Installed worldwide in production facilities, warehouses, terminals, hangars and tunnels, the VdS-tested system ensures the necessary safety even under conditions where conventional smoke detectors reach their limits.

The AI is specially trained: It ‘sees’ fire based on smoke density, flickering and changes in the orange and yellow color spectrum

Common smoke detectors trigger an alarm when they detect a dangerous concentration of smoke particles in the room air. However, this principle proves to be too slow when smoke detectors are mounted under the ceiling in high warehouses or tunnels. Instead, Aviotec IP relies on fire detection using video images, i. e., light signals. These are faster than smoke particles; the video-based system can thus detect fires that are developing at an early stage and within a few seconds.

To do this, the Aviotec camera uses special AI algorithms to analyze the live video images for the formation of smoke and flames. The fact that the processors for the necessary computing power for image recognition are already built into the cameras is of crucial importance here. This means that the video images do not first have to be transmitted via a network to a server for analysis but are immediately available for evaluation by the built-in intelligent video analysis.

Here, Aviotec avoids costly false alarms by precisely distinguishing between real fire and disturbances. More than 20 algorithms recognize disruptive factors such as reflections, movement of objects and backlight. The AI, specially trained for fire detection, ‘sees’ fire based on factors such as smoke density, flickering and changes in the orange and yellow color spectrum. And the system reports the exact location of the fire in the early stages and within seconds, when fires are still smoldering, and common detectors are not working.

Furthermore, Aviotec also works under conditions that overwhelm common smoke detectors. The image-based smoke and fire detection works unhindered in high humidity or high concentrations of dust in the air, for example in the paper and pulp industry. Aviotec receives additional protection through special housings for industrial working environments.

The integrated video analysis still detects sources of fire even in weak lighting conditions down to just 2 lux. Areas without visible light can also be secured using separate infrared lighting, with the system automatically switching from day to night mode when there is a defined threshold value in the ambient light. From the operator’s point of view, the IP-based camera can also be scaled as a networked system and integrated with a central management system. In this way, fire alarms can be transmitted to a fire alarm control panel or control center and combined with systems such as voice evacuation.

VdS-Certified Safety for at-Risk Properties

The early fire detection by the video-based Aviotec system enables fire protection at a level that many branches of industry have been waiting for. Fast detection and precise determination of the fire site allows rescue teams to initiate rescue and evacuation measures directly and in a targeted manner. In this way, Aviotec supports compliance with guidelines, ensures the safety of employees, buildings and machines, and avoids plant failures and production stops caused by fire.

As early as 2018, Aviotec was the first system of its kind to receive the seal of the VdS (Trust through Security) Schadenverhütung GmbH. The independent institution for corporate security found the video-based fire protection system to be safe based on the proven VdS guideline 2203, “Requirements for fire protection software” and “Specifications for testing flame detectors”. Since then, the system, which has been continuously developed over the years, has proven itself in applications, such as tunnels and warehouses with high ceilings where air circulation dilutes smoke before it reaches conventional ceiling detectors, airports and hangars where traditional detection methods often trigger false alarms, semi-open rooms and outdoor storage areas that are exposed to wind and weather, and it is often precisely here that flammable substances and materials are stored.

Pulp and paper industry: The raw materials and chemicals used in packaging are extremely flammable

Aviotec’s wide range of services becomes clear in concrete application examples from industry: As an experienced provider of offset printing services, Mohn Media Mohndruck, based in Gütersloh, Germany, stores enormous amounts of paper. The fire brigade of the Bertelsmann Printing Group company needed a special fire monitoring solution for their wastepaper warehouse. Up to 300 tons of paper are stored here under eight-meter-high ceilings. Given the high storage rooms, conventional smoke detectors would not be able to detect smoldering fires in good time. That is why the fire protection department at Mohn Media has been relying on Aviotec for years.

Fire risks are particularly high in the pulp and paper industry, where the raw materials and chemicals used in packaging are extremely flammable. The combination of overheating machines and electrical cables together with wood chips and sorted cardboard boxes is particularly combustible. Therefore, an Aviotec camera system protects employees, raw materials, machines and stored products in the corrugated board factory of the manufacturer Industria Cartonera Palmar in Machala, Ecuador. With user-specific settings and alarm criteria, the system works with minimal human intervention and ensures reliable fire protection despite difficult conditions, such as high humidity and dust.

At the Italian co-packing company Richetti in Italy, Aviotec fulfills several functions at the same time: After a serious fire in a production plant, the manufacturer of chilled and frozen snacks implemented both improved fire protection and the monitoring of critical security areas with Aviotec. Three of the special cameras secure the site: two along the production line and one in the warehouse near the boxes. Furthermore, the integrated security system from Bosch provides reliable protection against intruders from outside.

Second most common cause of warehouse fire is theft or arson

The installation of the Aviotec fire and smoke detector camera ensures significantly higher fire protection in demanding applications. The system is a future-proof investment for operators. In many cases, a VdS-approved system opens up discounts on the insurance premium or is even a basic condition for taking out insurance for high-risk systems.

Furthermore, Aviotec offers applications beyond fire safety. The intelligent video analysis also allows security monitoring and, for example, automatically raises the alarm in the event of theft or arson, currently the second most common cause of warehouse fires. The system also detects security risks such as blocked emergency exits and protects outdoor areas from intruders and vandalism.

Aviotec is also future-proof because new functions are available via firmware updates. In November 2021, Aviotec firmware version 7.81 brought new algorithms to the cameras that can report fire and smoke in changing weather and lighting conditions. And if the requirements for the fastest possible fire detection continue to increase in the future, the range of services offered by Aviotec’s intelligent algorithms will also increase.


Bosch Building Technologies

Robert-Bosch-Ring 5-7
85630 Grasbrunn

+49 89 6290 0