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Equipment Maintenance for Thermal Imagers

By Manfred Kihn
Regional Sales Manager – Emergency Responders (Canada), Thermal Imaging Trainer

Rechargeable batteries have a service life so it is very important that you replace these batteries on a schedule. Regular exercise will extend the life of the battery, but eventually they will need to be replaced. Be proactive and establish a plan for replacement.

battery pack

Based on your FD’s activity level, determine roughly how long a battery should last. Add that time to the date you placed the battery in service and write the future month and year on the battery. As part of your regular equipment checks, members can check the “expiration date.” The month before expiration, contact your Bullard TI distributor to order the new battery.

For example, a moderately busy fire department purchased an LDX and T4X in March 2018 (3-18). The department determines an 18-month replacement schedule is appropriate for them, and therefore writes “Sept 2019 (9-19)” on it. In August 2019, the department will contact its Bullard distributor to order the replacement battery. This approach is simple, obvious and part of a system, which makes it unlikely to fall through the cracks.

Based on average use by your department, determine how long a battery will normally last. Keep track of battery maintenance by identifying each battery with a “1 or 2” or “A or B” and once a month fully deplete the battery in the imager down to RED and replace it with the spare battery in the charger. This basic maintenance will help exercise the NiMH cells and extend their life cycle.

Another option is utilizing a PowerUp Charger, Analyzer, Conditioner which keeps your TI batteries at peak performance in conjunction with a regular inspection and maintenance process.

When it comes to care and maintenance, a thermal imager is not much different from a vehicle. You can ignore the simple things over time and pay for them several times over when there is a major failure. A few minutes, and few dollars, spent over time will help your department avoid large future expenses. For your TI to help you in a fire, you need to help it in the fire station. Give your TI a little regular care to keep batteries charged!

Also see: Powerhouse Charging Station which conveniently stores and charges your T3 or T4 Thermal Imager and a spare battery.

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Introducing the Air-Pak X3 Pro SCBA

Scott Safety logo


Scott Safety, now part of 3M, advances the proven, trusted performance of the Air-Pak X3 with the introduction of the Air-Pak X3 Pro, its most leading-edge SCBA to date. With a commitment to firefighter safety and a focus on the long-term effects of carcinogen exposure, Scott Safety engineered a product that enhances cleanability, comfort and connectivity, while providing compatibility with the upcoming NFPA 2018 standards.


The Air-Pak X3 Pro combines high-performance material selection with an easy-to-remove harness for cleaning, decontamination and serviceability. With minimal water absorption, the new harness assembly can be machine laundered to minimize contamination and reduce long-term carcinogen exposure. Because the gear can be laundered at the station, firefighters have fast and easy access to their equipment when they respond to the next call.

“As an industry leader, our role at Scott Safety is not only to provide the best equipment to protect first responders, but to do our part to protect their long-term health,” said Jeff Emery, global business unit leader, SCBA and fire solutions for Scott Safety. “We take that responsibility seriously and are committed to instituting change, not only for the firefighters of today, but for the firefighters of tomorrow.”

Scott Safety designed the Air-Pak X3 Pro to keep firefighters safe while providing a higher level of comfort. A new shoulder harness design improves the ease of donning the SCBA and minimizes pressure points to reduce user fatigue. A naturally articulating waist pad provides the user a greater range of motion, while transferring weight to the hips for a more balanced load. Superior breathability offers minimal breathing resistance to reduce user burden and improve operational efficiencies.

Offering enhanced electronics with Bluetooth® technology, the Air-Pak X3 Pro supports wireless connectivity for improved firefighter safety and fireground accountability. An electronic PAR feature allows incident command to reliably communicate with firefighters without creating additional radio traffic. Data downloading and configuration changes are made easier using a wireless connection to smartphones.

“Scott Safety is committed to product development that makes the firefighter’s job easier and safer,” said Jason Cannon, senior manager, NFPA air-supplied products for Scott Safety. “With a cleanable, comfortable and connected product, we are working toward minimizing harmful exposure to carcinogens and providing improved peace of mind.”

This commitment to cancer prevention also is reflected in the company’s planned cancer awareness and prevention initiative for 2018. Scott Safety has pledged to make $100,000 in charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations that share Scott’s mission for cancer prevention and work to protect the long-term health of firefighters. The program will launch January 1.

For information on Scott Safety’s latest innovations, please visit

About 3M | Scott Safety
Scott Safety, now part of 3M, is a premier manufacturer of innovative respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices for emergency services and first responders including firefighters, industrial workers, law enforcement, military, civil defense, national security and rescue teams around the world. With five global manufacturing locations, Scott products protect thousands of individuals each day from environmental hazards that are inherent in the industriesthey serve. The Scott product line includes self-contained breathing apparatus, supplied air and air-purifying respirators, gas detection instruments, thermal imaging cameras and firefighter locators. For information on Scott Safety’s latest innovations, please visit​.​