Innovative video analytics from Araani increase fire safety in critical environments

SmokeCatcher succeeds where traditional smoke detectors fall short

“We tested several cameras in a wide variety of light conditions before developing our technology. The quality of the Axis cameras made them the best option by far.” Pieter Claerhout, Araani CEO.


In their quest for the most reliable solution for fire safety in critical environments such as the petrochemical industry or waste processing units, the Kortrijk-based firm Araani developed the SmokeCatcher software. This innovative software had to surpass traditional smoke detectors that often have to deal with late reports or false alarms.


Araani is the first company that uses smart video analysis for smoke detection. They opted for Axis network cameras with Axis’ Lightfinder technology, which are able to produce quality images even in very low light. Because the software runs locally on the cameras themselves, images are also processed considerably faster than on a server. The network cameras run on an open platform that is easily integrated with external systems, such as fire control centers.


Contrary to a classic smoke detector, this sensor does not need to come into physical contact with smoke, resulting in a much earlier detection of potential danger and also making it usable in high-ceilinged rooms. This new system also has far fewer false alarms. In addition, the video images make it considerably easier to trace the cause of the fire. The idea to deploy cameras for smoke detection is as innovative as it is logical. It is a solution for many of the problems which traditional smoke detectors have to deal with. The first problem is formed by the often harsh circumstances in which such a detector needs to operate, explains Pieter Claerhout, Araani CEO: “Often these detectors are affected by dust, moisture or toxic gases, which cause them to malfunction and regularly send false alarms, which eventually leads to personnel shutting the whole thing off. With a visual smoke detector, that problem becomes significantly smaller.”

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