Automist from Plumis, an LABC Registered and cost effective alternative to sprinkler systems was recently used in the conversion of a ground floor flat in Crouch End, Haringey, London into two separate flats, one of which incorporated a 27m long basement space. Building Control officers insisted that, in order to meet fire regulations, a fire suppression system like Automist that offers full room, active fire suppression should be used. The alternative would have been to install staircases in the light wells as a means of escape in the event of a fire. Mr S. Perkins, the owner of the property was reluctant to do this. “This was because it would have meant substantially enlarging the light well space, thereby reducing the internal space. And this would have seriously compromised the aesthetic of the project.”
The traditional alternative was to install sprinklers but, for this, additional building works would have been necessary in the already completed flats. Furthermore, a discharge would have drenched the new...
A Plumis Automist Smartscan system was installed recently in a loft conversion in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in order to facilitate the retention of the open plan living space. For this kind of contemporary, open space design Building Regulations demand that a protected enclosed stairwell is provided or they require the use of alternative compensatory measures such as sprinklers.
The property owner, Matt Newis was reluctant to install sprinklers because of the potential water damage to his home should the sprinklers be activated. He was recommended to consider the Plumis device and did some research on the internet. He was fully satisfied that it would fulfil his requirements as a more usable alternative to sprinklers, so he contacted his local approved Automist installer, Creative In/Exteriors Ltd. LABC registered Automist Smartscan is a modern alternative to a fire sprinkler system. Instead of the typical ceiling-mounted sprinkler head, this device consists of a wall mounted...
Plumis Automist has been used to provide an innovative, best value fire protection solution in a loft conversion in a terraced property in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Creative In/Exteriors, the local accredited Automist installers, installed the system to facilitate a contemporary open plan design whilst at the same time complying with Building Regulations. The means of escape was on the ground floor onto an open plan kitchen and dining room and as a compensatory alternative Building Regulations required an active fire suppression system such as sprinklers. The property owner was disinclined to do this because of budget considerations and the danger of accidental discharge which could seriously affect the fabric of the property and the fixtures and fittings. A suggested alternative was to create an enclosed lobby using a fire door but, equally, Mr Evans was reluctant to compromise the open plan design. A third option was to reconfigure the staircase but this would have proved expensive and intrusive.
Plumis Automist was used to comply with building regulations and to provide unobtrusive fire protection in the Grade II listed Gatehouse Lodge, near Grantham in the Lincolnshire Vales. The Lodge had been rescued recently from dereliction and has been sensitively restored with a mix of original and contemporary features. The system was installed in the kitchen area to the front of the property because the escape route from the 1st floor came down into this small room, meaning that it was not protected as required in Approved Document B.
The owners were reluctant to have sprinklers fitted because of the damage to the fabric of the period property and to the new fixtures and fittings the release of water would cause if they were activated. They had looked at the Plumis website and assessed that Automist would perfectly suit their requirements. Newflame Ltd of Peterborough is the Accredited Automist Installer for the region and Richard Scotcher recommended a wall mounted spray-head.
Newflame Fire Equipment Co. Ltd has provided Plumis Automist systems as an innovative watermist fire sprinkler for a block of 7 flats above Baldock library, which had been converted from office space in the Hertfordshire town. The modern, open-plan design of the living areas of 6 of the flats meant that there was no protected means of escape. The LACoRS guide and Approved Document B allow open plan designs as long as some additional features, including fire suppression, are provided. The owner of the building was reluctant to install sprinklers which would have marred the clean lines of the design and in the event of discharge, accidental or otherwise would have drenched the property, the new fixtures and fittings.
The owner, whose extended family are using 4 of the flats while the 3 remaining flats are being rented out, discovered the Plumis website when searching for a resolution and sent the plans of the conversion to Newflame, the accredited Automist installer for the area. He was...
Open plan layouts as an architectural trend is here, either in homes or flats, there is no denying that the increased feel of space and the ability to maximise the use of small footprint properties make it a win-win for architects and occupants.
The reason this was not a default setup in the past is because it went against the prescriptive guidance. So what has changed? The adoption of fire engineering principles in the guidance documents that are issued for the industry such as Approved Document B and BS 9991. These documents used to be compartmentation heavy, i.e. they would rely only on passive fire protection measures such as walls, fire doors and door closers to ensure a fire would develop only within a room, leaving the escape route free for occupants. This required a “protected corridor” to be designed through the property where escape could take place. And as a consequence your open plan dream went out of the window. The increased use of sprinklers, water mist, enhanced (linked) detection and alarm and automatic opening...
Portable misting/sprinkler units offer a temporary or in some cases a permanent solution for the protection of high risk situations normally in one room of the premises, for example:
Used in the bedroom of an immobile person who smokes in bed
Used in the kitchen where there is a high risk of a kitchen fire
Used in the lounge where there is a high risk of an accidental fire
Used in the hallway where there is a high risk of arson
They are a stand alone unit that consists of a tank of water, a pump and misting nozzle and connects to a smoke or flame detector for early activation.
When smoke or heat activates the system the unit operates filling the room/area with an ultra fine mist of water designed to suppress the fire maintaining a breathable atmosphere. In some cases it will put out the fire.
Due to its use of a fine mist of water, the water damage will be much less than if the Fire Service use hoses to put out the fire.
ICC just released their preliminary online voting results, and Proposal RB129-16, which attempted to remove the residential sprinkler requirement from the International Residential Code, is shown as DISAPPROVED. Therefore, the requirement to install fire sprinklers all newly constructed homes will remain in the 2018 edition of the IRC.
We were also successful in gaining approval of two changes that incentivize and support sprinkler requirements, Proposals RB89-16 and ADM36-16. However, we came up short of the required 2/3 majority to overturn committee recommendations on Proposals RB51-16 (dealing specifically with stacked duplexes), and RB69-16 (dealing with protection of lightweight floor assemblies).
A common denominator linking manufacturers of reliable, trustworthy, quality-controlled construction products is independent third-party testing. Before taking their products to market, these manufacturers invest in the help of independent third party laboratories, such as fire protection testing specialist Exova Warringtonfire, to negotiate a complex labyrinth of research, development, assessments and testing.
One such manufacturer is Plumis, the James Dyson Award-winning inventors of the Automist active fire protection concept and manufacturers of a small range of innovative products that propelled them to be named Innovators of the Year by the CBI in 2014.
Their latest product, the Automist Smartscan, is an elegantly engineered, water-saving, efficient, affordable and highly effective watermist system (sprinkler replacement). It uses an under-researched technology – water mist – in a new way to provide active fire protection in the home. Such is the innovation of the product’s design, it has already...