gCaptain has long been a proponent of Thermal Imagers for firefighting use and we just received a Flir First Mate thermal imaging camera for maritime SAR and Security use (we hear it can even detect oil spills but standby for our full review) but both units, while effective in emergency situations, cost a a few thousand dollars. But a simpler tool exists for augmenting your emergency gear locker… Laser Temperature Guns.
Ranging in price from one to several hundred dollars for a quality unit, these guns do one simple job, and they do it effectively… they tell the temperature of objects from a distance. The best ones come not only with a heat detector, but also with a laser mount which makes aiming the unit simple and effective.
This is perfect for use in boundary cooling operations aboard ship.
Just think, what are your biggest enemies during marine firefighting operations… smoke, heat and water. Too much heat and the fire will spread but put too much water on surrounding bulkheads and you run into stability problems.
This is why a temperature gun should be in your emergency gear kit and handed out to each boundary cooling team with directions to only cool the bulkheads surrounding the fire in short bursts and only when they have heated up beyond normal levels.
The temperature gun has other uses too. Entry teams no longer have to feel each door risking burns on the back of their hands and ventilation ducts can be shot with the laser to check for the movement of smoke and heat through the HVAC system.
The greatest feature of Temperature Laser Guns is their price. For less than a $1000 you can buy multiple units ready to hand out to first responders. The best units, like the Fluke-68IS, are more expensive but the price translates to key features including intrinsically safe, water resistant housings, more rugged design, and temperature sensors ranging from -40 °F to 1400 °F. In contrast, Amazon sells a no brand model for $20 which is great for using around the house (I own one myself!), but it’s max temperature range of 750 °F and shoddy construction would make it useless aboard ship… well, at least useless beyond making sure the old man’s coffee pot is still hot;)