Optical flame detectors are a necessity for hazardous environments within petrochemical oil & gas facilities, industrial gas turbines, and many others to help mitigate a potential catastrophic fire, explosion, or toxic gas release. These detectors are much more reliable than a simple heat or smoke detector, especially within outdoor settings. Prior to selecting an optical flame detector, though, hazardous process owners, managers, and engineers must assess potential fire hazards already present and specify the appropriate detection technology. Doing so will ensure optimal flame detection system performance and increase overall safety across the entire facility.

Why You Should Consider UV/IR Flame Technology

There are two main flame-sensing technologies used today: ultraviolet/infrared and multi-spectrum infrared (MSIR). A UV/IR flame detector consists of an ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) sensor paired together within a single instrument. While the UV sensors detect the UV radiation-emitted flames, the IR sensors monitor the infrared emission spectral band around the 4.3 to 4.4 micron range – the predominant radiant emission band for hydrocarbon-fueled fires.

The only alarm source shared between the two sensing technologies is a real hydrocarbon fire – a key benefit of UV/IR detectors. Adding advanced signal processing algorithms ensures this combination detector delivers outstanding performance to a wide range of flammable liquids, gases, and volatile solids while simultaneously providing enhanced false alarm immunity far superior than either a UV or IR sensor alone.

Additional benefits include continuous self-testing of all optical surfaces using MSA’s Continuous Optical Path Monitoring (COPM) system, as well as a wide range of configuration and diagnostic options.


The FL500 UV/IR Flame Detector is MSA’s solution for hazardous environments. With a 130° cone of vision, the FL500 covers greater distance, increasing your facility’s safety.


  • Six fuel sources (heptane, methane, methanol, propane, ethane, butane) tested with verified field of view
  • Continuous Optical Path Monitoring (COPM) performs a self-check every two minutes, ensuring the optical path is clear and electronic circuitry is functional
  • Wide operating range (-55°C to +85°C) permits operation in extreme environments

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Manufacturer: MSA Safety
Device: FL500 UV/IR Flame Detector

As the Mid-Atlantic representative for MSA, Eastern Controls has the necessary training and experience to effectively demonstrate this device and answer questions you may have about its operation. For more information about this product and/or other products offered by the manufacturer that may benefit your process operations, please contact our sales group.