Common Infrared Thermometer Uses
The infrared thermometer has all but replaced the probe and strip thermometers as a significantly more hygienic, accurate, and adaptable alternative. Sometimes called a laser thermometer or contactless thermometer, an infrared (IR) thermometer scans sections of an object with a laser to determine its ambient temperature.
The fact that infrared thermometers do not require any physical contact makes them handy for busy doctors and nurses. There is no need to sterilise between uses or use disposable probe covers. The usability of contactless thermometers is also helpful when trying to take temperature readings in hard to reach areas. So, many engineers and catering professionals use laser thermometers to measure the temperature of equipment and produce.
So, what is an infrared thermometer used for in different industries? In this article, we’ll cover the most common uses for infrared thermometers.
The Use of Infrared Thermometers in Medical and Healthcare Settings
In medical settings, infrared thermometers are used to check the temperatures of adults, children, and babies to detect early signs of a fever or illness. Here are some examples of when infrared thermometers are used:
- By paramedics.
- By ward nurses conducting daily patient checks.
- By doctors and nurses during routine examinations.
- By midwives taking the temperatures of babies on the maternity unit.
An infrared thermometer may be a helpful piece of veterinary equipment if taking a temperature reading intrusively on an animal would be difficult or dangerous. However, according to a study covered by The Veterinary Nurse, there is not currently enough information to suggest that contactless thermometers are sufficiently accurate to be used on animals.
A heightened temperature is one of the earliest signs that tell us an infection or illness has entered the body. By checking the temperatures of people coming into an enclosed space, you are taking positive steps to keep workers and visitors safe and make them feel more comfortable. Here are some other examples of where contactless IR thermometers are used:
- By school nurses.
- By airline staff when passengers are checked in.
- By the staff at the entrance to a restaurant, pub, or bar.
- By receptionists when checking visitors into offices, gyms, or hotels.
The UK government advises that temperature checks shouldn’t be relied on as the sole method of infection control in places of work and public spaces. Business owners are advised to incorporate PPE like face masks or visors, and disinfectants like hand gel into their infection control plan too.
Complete Infection Control Plan
Laser Thermometer Uses in Non-Medical Settings
Contactless laser thermometers are also used in a great many different sectors besides healthcare to monitor temperature and keep environments safe. What is an infrared thermometer used for in other industries? Here are some examples:
Infrared thermometers are used every day in the catering industry to make sure that food is cooked and stored at safe temperatures to minimise the risk of bacteria growth.
Catering professionals and food preparation staff use laser thermometers to check the temperature of food stored in fridges and freezers, and the units themselves. Food must be checked after cooking to ensure it has been cooked through to a safe temperature for consumers to eat.
Engineering and Factories
The fact that a contactless thermometer only needs to be pointed at an object to gauge its temperature makes them a useful tool to engineers, electricians, plumbers, and repairmen to can identify trouble areas without the need to touch anything, meaning they stay a safe distance from compromised areas or potential electrical shocks.
Laser thermometers can be used to check faulty circuit terminations and assess whether circuit breakers or fuses are at high capacity. They are useful for checking the temperature of moving motors or rotating equipment.
DIY and Construction
Infrared thermometers are used in home improvement and house building to help people identify poorly insulated areas that can’t be seen or felt otherwise. A laser thermometer directed at walls, both interior and exterior, will show up spaces where more insulation is needed. Directed at skirting boards, window frames, and door frames, an infrared thermometer can help to identify drafts and leaks.
Advantages of Infrared Thermometer Use
There are significant advantages to using a contactless thermometer instead of one that requires contact or insertion to take a reading.
- Lack of contact reduces the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of infectious particles.
- Has a fast response time to display the temperature reading quickly.
- Highly accurate temperature readings, where other thermometer instruments can produce a greater margin of error.
- Easy to use and understand, making training quick and minimising the chance of incorrect use.
- Temperature readings are often stored in the machine to help with keeping accurate records.
Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
The Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer has all of these advantages and more, making it a good example of why a contactless thermometer should be the first choice. It has:
- Reading accuracy of +/- 0.2°C.
- Storage capacity of up to 32 temperatures at once.
- A response time of one second, meaning no wait time to receive a reading.
- A temperature reading distance of 3–5cm, meaning you don’t have to make contact.
- A highly intuitive interface, with one button to press to take a reading, which is then displayed on an LED screen with a correlating colour (green for healthy temperatures, orange and red for high temperatures). It can also be used to read Celsius and Fahrenheit.
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