An Integrated Safety/Security Video Image Detection (VID) System for Road Tunnel Protection

Published:  19 April, 2010

Road tunnels face both fire safety and security challenges because of their complex infrastructure, fire hazards produced from traffic accidents and potential terrorist threats. Interest in the use of the automatic video image detection (VID) system for road tunnel protection is increased, because of its quick response to the fire or security incident, and real time video images for use in monitoring events, and in guiding evacuation, rescue and firefighting. Many tunnels are already equipped with VID systems for traffic managements and for security protection.

Recent studies conducted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) at NFPA also showed that the VID fire detection system was one of promising detection technologies for the use in road tunnel protection [1]. As a relatively new technology, however, only a number of VID systems for either fire safety or security are available in the market [2] and the functions of fire safety and security are not integrated in the VID systems. In addition, previous FPRF studies recommended that efforts are needed for the VID fire detection systems to improve their detection and monitoring capability, and to reduce nuisance alarms produced in tunnel environments [1].

Recently, a new integrated safety/security VID system (AlarmEye®) was developed by InnoSys Industries Inc. [3]. It has been listed by UL as a VID flame/smoke detection system. Its fire detection capability and reliability in tunnel environments were evaluated in a research tunnel facility with dimensions of 120 m long, 12 m wide and 7 m high, following the China National Standard “Technical Condition for Fire Detection Systems in Road Tunnel.” This paper briefly describes this
new integrated safety/security VID system. The fire test results conducted in the research tunnel facility are reported.

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