The infrastructure required to deliver various 'Internet of Things' (IoT) services is expected to be widely available in the very near future for application areas such as Smart Cities, Smart Homes, Intelligent Transportation and Smart Monitoring in the coming decades. In fact, it is expected that the number of devices connected to the Internet will exceed 50 billion by 2020. It is possible to use these infrastructures for environmental monitoring systems, especially for the early detection and prevention of disasters such as forest fires. Wireless sensors are an essential part of the IoT infrastructure and environmental monitoring/surveillance systems. Wireless sensor networks based on scalar sensors and wireless multimedia sensor networks are widely used for environmental monitoring. Multimedia surveillance systems have better accuracy but a shorter lifetime with multimedia surveillance systems. Therefore, it is necessary to study in detail their energy efficiency to better understand the introduction of more efficient algorithms and architectures. In this study, the lifetimes of the Wireless Sensor Networks(WSNs) and Wireless Multimedia Sensor Networks(WMSNs) are considered in a comparative way. The results are presented for a forest fire detection case study using simulations as well as an example of a test bench to confirm the accuracy of the simulation tool used.