There are a lot of IR flame detectors on the market, like single IR, multi-IR, IR3 and UV/IR. Each is best in a certain type of situation. There are other types of flame detectors besides the infrared type and those have their own advantages. What are the benefits of choosing an infrared flame detector over other types of flame detectors?

Low Tech Solutions Can Work for Low Threat Situations

A flame detector can be as simple as a video camera with someone in a control room monitoring the video feed. It could even simply be a watchman. Companies with inventories of slightly combustible raw materials or finished products might find a watchman or a video camera adequate for their needs. It can be low cost if the watchman or monitor can be doing other tasks besides watching for fire.

Optical Sensors Are Constantly Vigilant and Quick to Respond

Companies that have a greater fire danger, like manufacturers with flammable liquids or solids, require constant monitoring and the potential for fast response. Optical sensors almost instantaneously detect ultraviolet, visible and infrared emissions that occur during the combustion. Depending on the type, an optical detector can “see” an emission from incipient flames as far away as 200 feet, but each type of sensor has its limitations. UV detectors can have their effectiveness diminished by thick smoke or other airborne particles which attenuate the sources’s UV light. Other UV light sources like welding arcs can trigger a false alarm. UV detectors are good for hydrocarbon fires, like petroleum fires, or other hydrogen-based material fires.

Infrared Flame Detectors Can be Low Cost and Accurate

IR detectors recognize infrared radiation given off by flame. Since radiant heat sources like heaters or light bulbs, also emit infrared radiation, IR detectors incorporate technology to eliminate false alarms from non-fire sources. Depending on their complexity IR detectors can be used indoors or outdoors, at different distances and for chemicals besides hydrocarbons. Other features increase their sensitivity, speed and range.

Let Your Need Determine the Choice of IR Detector

Single IR detectors are low in cost and provide moderate speed and sensitivity to hydrocarbon fires. They are best used indoors. Combination UV/IR detectors eliminate false alarms due to other infrared sources but are affected by thick smoke like single UV detectors. They can be used either indoors or outdoors and detect fires from metals, ammonia and hydrogen-based sources besides hydrocarbons. The triple IR flame detector, or IR3, incorporates even more technology to screen out false alarms and thus can also be used indoors or outdoors. Since it does not use the UV spectrum it is not susceptible to reduced sensitivity caused by smoke or vapors. It detects a variety of fires in hydrogen-based fuels.
The multi-IR detectors use technology similar to that used in the IR3, but multi-IR detectors are designed for high sensitivity to hydrocarbon and hydrogen fires.