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Run test fires

Carefully follow these steps to burn a controlled test fire.

Running test fires


  1. Ensure you have read through the Test fire guidelines before proceeding.

  2. Contact the local fire department / authorities and clarify whether you are allowed to make a test fire.


    Take precautions and make sure you can extinguish the fire. Do not leave hot ash in the forest. Also, as a precaution, have sufficient water available to be able to extinguish the fire after the test.

Step 1. Record weight of test fire material

Record the weight and type of material you plan on burning. You need this information for any follow up tests so you consistently use the same weight and type of material for each test fire.

  • Record the type of material you plan on burning.

    See also

    For information about the type of material, see Homogeneous material for test fire.

  • Record the weight of the material you plan on burning for the duration of this test fire, including the material you plan on adding to keep the fire burning.

Step 2. Burn test fire continuously for 30 minutes

After the sensors and Border Gateway have been deployed and the sensors have connectivity to the Silvanet network, you are ready to burn a test fire to generate smoke.

  1. Use a metal fire pit with a diameter of approximately 1 m and place it in the middle of the deployed sensors.


    A BBQ may not provide the appropriate level of smoke, nor duration.

    Controlled fire setup

    Controlled fire setup

  2. Start the test fire by igniting small, dry branches and slowly grow the fire.


    Do not use any artificial fire-lighter as these have a different chemical composition and set free other burning gasses that can create false measurements from the sensors. Ensure the fire does not send out sparks and that it consists mostly of smoke due to the burning needles.

    Burning test fire

    Burning test fire

  3. Burn the fire for approximately 30 minutes by using small branches to keep the fire going. Add smaller branches with needles on top of the fire. Constantly feed the fire with fresh material to ensure the fire continuously burns for 30 minutes.


    Ensure the fire is generating smoke rather than having a burning camp-fire style fire.

Step 3. Ensure continuous exposure to smoke

Sensors need 1-5 min of smoke exposure to trigger a fire detection process.

Visually confirm smoke from the fire reaches the sensors.

Step 4. Expect fire alerts

The expected time between the ignition of the fire and receiving a fire alert should be within minutes. You should expect a fire alert in the Site Management app and receive a fire alert email.

A fire alert icon appears in the map for the Site displaying the fire's location. Open the details of the fire by clicking the fire alert Icon.

Fire detected

Fire detected

Step 5. Record the results

During and after the test, document the results of the test. The record of the test results should include the following information:

  • Distance from the fire pit of the sensors that triggered a fire alert.

  • Weight of the amount of material used for the duration of the test fire, including the material added to the fire during the burn.

  • Duration of the burn.

  • Visual confirmation of smoke hitting the sensors (ideally as a video).

The test conditions must be documented precisely. For example, document the wind direction, wind speed, changing winds and other environmental conditions which allow for an accurate evaluation of the reaction of the sensors.


Take videos and/or pictures of the fire during the test. They are useful during troubleshooting. The results are useful for creating and updating the ML model with data from real-world tests.

Step 6. Ensure fire is completely extinguished

Ensure the fire is completely extinguish. Look for any embers under the burnt material. Do not let any embers escape the fire pit/bowl and ignite the surrounding ground material.


Ensure that the burnt material has been put out thoroughly and there are no hidden ambers. This is to avoid a fire unintentionally starting.

Additional resources