New hot spot detection system prevents vehicle fires in highway tunnels

Published:  09 December, 2013

The new Hot Spot Detector system from SICK can prevent catastrophic vehicle fires in highway tunnels and help avoid loss of life, freight and vehicles as well as the immense cost of closure and reconstruction. 

Based on the SICK LMS511 laser sensor with the TIC 102 profiling system and integrated with thermal imaging cameras, the SICK Hot Spot Detector detects potentially dangerous situations in free-flow traffic so a suspect vehicle can be diverted before entering the tunnel.

 ‘Some of the most calamitous disasters have happened on major highways, where a vehicle fire has trapped people in a tunnel, subject to heat and poisonous smoke, with great difficulty in escaping,’ comments Gary Young, SICK (UK) traffic management segment manager.

‘The new system proved its potential within a week of the first installation in Austria in May 2013, where an overheating brake on a truck was picked up at the Karawanks Tunnel. On inspection, the truck also had two other cracked discs and was prevented from entering the tunnel.’

Developed by SICK’s Swiss subsidiary ECTN AG, the new Hot Spot Detector is able to detect potentially dangerous overheating on chassis or cargo in virtually any type of vehicle, from buses and low loaders to high sided trucks and tankers.

Every vehicle greater than 7.5 tons is guided into the lane where the Hot Spot detector is sited before entering the tunnel. Here, while the vehicle is moving freely, the laser sensor measures it in 3D and the thermal imaging cameras create a thermal profile of it.

The combined 3D thermal image is assessed against one of 28 categories, which each have the approved thermal thresholds for specific parts in locations appropriate to that class, including exhaust system, load, brakes, wheel bearings, engine etc. Any significant deviation from a normal temperature will alert the tunnel police who can pull the vehicle over and implement a thorough inspection.

The SICK Hot Spot Detector is an all weather IP66 protected system ensuring it offers assurance against fire hazard in all weathers from -250C to +550C, day and night. As many road tunnels are found in mountainous regions, with snow, low cloud and rain, or close to rivers and estuaries with fog and spray, resistance to environmental conditions is important.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Renka´s Fire Engine No. 1

Firefighting, fast, safe, everywhere. Michael Renka GmbH, based in Germany, is a manufacturer of firefighting vehicles, pumps and rescue equipment.

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.