Introduction: The paper presents the frequency and ways of using thermovision cameras in rescue actions. It includes a report on firefighting actions with thermovision cameras performed in two production plants. The work includes also thermograms and pictures presenting a documentation of Fire Service actions. The usefulness of thermovision cameras in particular action elements was estimated. The paper includes authors’ comments on demands that should be met by thermovision cameras used in Fire Service actions. In the actions described below, the firefighters could use a thermovision camera with the ability of measuring the temperature in one point. The camera itself is very convenient and designed for work in fire environment. A thermovision camera was used in a firefighting action during a fire in a factory in Czechowice-Dziedzice, in 2011. The camera was used to measure the temperature inside the hardening furnace, where the fire started. After that, the thermovision camera was used to control the flue ducts. Due to decrease of the temperature applying of the extinguishing media was not necessary. A thermovision camera was also used to control the ventilation ducts. The measurements of temperature in ventilation ducts was conducted to eliminate a secondary fire or a fire in a neighbouring part of the production hall. Next fire where the thermovision camera was used, took place in a meat processing plant, in Bielsko-Biała, in 2011. After checking the mechanical ladder, it was used to localize the fire source. The roof was examined with a thermovision camera. Thick structure of rafter framing, big smoke and a lot of water steam significantly inhibited the location of fire sources. Firefighter who was observing the picture in thermovision camera, could easily localize places that were strongly heated, embers and fire. Measurements taken by the camera were conducted inside the plant hall as well. Thermovision camera helped to run the firefighting action fast and smoothly. More extinguishing media would have been used without such a camera and the firefighters would have to make unnecessary holes in walls and ceilings. As a result the action would have lasted longer, the losses would have been bigger. Thermovision is helpful in estimating the fire situation. It helps in localizing sources of fire, extinguishing fires hidden in unapproachable spaces and inspecting sites of the fire. It also enables to measure temperature of difficult to access elements, chimney ducts, ventilation ducts, electrical switchboards, systems, machines and devices. Knowing the temperature of an object lets minimize the losses.The camera enabled to perform the actions fast and efficiently with minimum extinguishing media and minimizing any losses.
Keywords: thermal camera, firefighting, thermographs