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.
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.