As drones continue to get smaller, more powerful, and have better payload options, one thing that will stay the same is its ability to quickly reach a vantage point that humans cannot easily get to. This remote controlled or even autonomous flying platform can be used to make people’s jobs easier and more efficient through better information gathering and surveying. Drones can be equipped with thermal cameras to see in the dark, detect irregularities on solar panels, check the insulation on buildings, and even check for hot spots in burning buildings. For firefighting, having a drone in the sky during an active large fire, search & rescue operation, or for post-fire assessment is the only way to get a full understanding of the current conditions and to ensure the safety of the fire team.
The four key uses of drones by firefighters:
Scene Monitoring – By providing a rapid aerial assessment of burning structures, a drone can be a significant help to quickly analyze the status of the fire before firefighters can enter the scene.
Search and Rescue – With features such as zoom & thermal cameras, payload drop systems and floodlights, drones can be configured to assist ground crews in search and rescue operations even at night.
Post Fire or Disasters Assessment – Inspection to assess the damage or search for missing persons is easier by having a bird’s eye view of the scene. By using drones, firefighters can easily record video that can also be used for future training purposes.
Wildland Firefighting – With the use of thermal imaging cameras, firefighters can easily identify hotspots, see through the smoke and analyze which areas on the ground require immediate action.
Infographic Provided by Dronefly.com