DOST develops DIY guide for non-contact infrared thermometers

Published July 5, 2021, 12:00 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

A guidance document which seeks to provide a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) way of obtaining an impression of a non contact infrared (IR) thermometer’s accuracy has been developed, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced.

(NML’s Facebook page)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), through the National Metrology Laboratory (NML), has developed a guidance document for non contact IR thermometers.

“The guidance document is issued to provide a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) way of obtaining an impression of an IR thermometer’s accuracy using improvised standards for temperature in times of urgency,” he said in his report.

He noted that non-contact IR thermometers have become widely used due to their usability, acceptable accuracies, and cost-effectiveness.

“More recently, outbreaks of diseases have made establishments scramble to get hold of non-contact IR thermometers to monitor customers’ body temperature since fever is a significant symptom of most diseases. Therefore, thermometers must be accurate and reliable to ensure informed decisions are made, and exposure to infections is minimized,” the DOST chief said.

“Accuracy and reliability can be achieved through calibration services provided by national metrology institutes (NMIs) and accredited calibration laboratories. However, quarantine, travel restrictions, and safety protocols have made it difficult for some users to access these services,” he added.

De la Peña said the DIY guide describes how to check a non-contact IR thermometer’s accuracy at approximately 0 degree Celsius (°C), 34 °C, 37 °C and 100 °C.

“The procedures in the guide apply to IR thermometers with adjustable emissivity settable from 0.90 to 0.99 or fixed emissivity settings indicated as “body” and “surface”,” he said.

Emissivity is the ratio of the energy radiated from a material’s surface to that released from a perfect emitter, known as a blackbody, at the same temperature and wavelength and under the same viewing conditions.

The “do-it-yourself” (DIY) guide may be downloaded through the NML’s Facebook page (