PEA RIDGE (KFSM) — Pea Ridge Volunteer Firefighters used a TIC (Thermal Imagining Camera) to search for a hot spot on a house caused by a lightning strike during Saturday (May 27) night’s storm, according to a post on their Facebook page.
Firefighters were dispatched to Andy Jack Road shortly after 11 p.m.
The TIC is a valuable tool for the fire service as it helps detect even the smallest change in temperature.
In this situation, firefighters determined the strike entered the house from a gas line attached to the house, close to the crawl space. It was seated in the floor joist and working its way up a wall stud. Bricks and black board were removed so fire fighters could get to the location.
IFSEC Global, an international agency that offers security solutions and products, said the device forms an image using infrared radiation, similar to a common camera that forms an image using visible light. In turn, this allows the operator to see areas of heat through smoke, darkness, or heat-permeable barriers.
The cameras are not cheap, some prices online are listed at $1,500, but $10,000 each is probably a more accurate price, according to one local firefighter.
Fort Smith Fire Department has five TICs and planned to purchase six more. That would give the department a camera for each fire truck.