Reinventing residential & domestic sprinklers
Automist bringing fire protection to homes where previously it was cumbersome or impractical
Traditional and water mist sprinkler systems have a very good reputation for both saving lives and avoiding property loss, as a result they are widely used in commercial and industrial applications. In the domestic setting penetration is significantly lower, due to high costs, the potential for water damage, and the disruption caused during installation. With this in mind Plumis have developed a simpler, easier to install and more discreet active fire protection solution for the home.
Automist can achieve the objectives set by traditional sprinklers in a residential setting without several of the disadvantages. Automist uses mist technology, which suffocates a fire by removing heat and displacing oxygen from the fire zone, and is permitted for use by the English/Welsh and Scottish building regulations (e.g. section 0.18 ADB Dwellinghouses). Instead of a complex custom network, Automist is a simple and ready to install kit which will protect a volume. Automist is installed only by installers accredited by Plumis, and Plumis requests layouts and installation data from all installations and thus monitors installation quality.
An increasing number of organisations are installing Automist in their developments. View case studies
Automist can replace sprinklers in:
- Residential refurbishments or new builds (loft conversions, open plan kitchens, change of use, etc.) where it is governed by Approved Document B. ADB acknowledges that innovative systems such as Automist can satisfy the objectives usually handed to traditional sprinklers:
"0.18 There are many alternative or innovative fire suppression systems available. Where these are used it is necessary to ensure that such systems have been designed and tested for use in domestic buildings and are fit for their intended purpose."
- To demonstrate how Automist is fit for purpose for protection domestic scenarios, Plumis carried out extensive fire testing at the Building Research Establishment (BRE).
- Safety add-on to high risk or high vulnerability locations. Sheltered housing, disabled or care homes occupants may be in a higher vulnerability than ordinary occupants. Through either elective extra care or through a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) carried out to verify compliance to the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (RRFSO) the responsible person has to provide fire safety “as far as is reasonably practicable”. Automist’s ease of retrofit and fire suppression performance makes it a frequent tool of choice by fire consultants to provide adequate fire protection. A fire risk assessor or consultant can indicate the correct application of Automist depending on the location’s risk profile.
Click to download the Automist Technical Information Pack .
When are traditional sprinkler systems cost effective?
In 2006, the Building Division of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) commissioned a detailed report (BRE report - No. 204505) on “The effectiveness of sprinklers in residential premises”, carried out by the Fire and Rescue Service. It concluded that sprinklers are not necessarily the best solution for most housing due to their high cost of installation and the water damage incurred when triggered.
Although the addition of residential sprinkler protection proved effective in potentially reducing casualties in the room of the fire origin and connected spaces, it concluded that in order for sprinklers to become cost effective, high risk buildings should be targeted (such as residential care homes and tall blocks of flats), and these justified on a case-by–case basis using the cost benefit approach.
NERA Economic Consulting, which carried out the study, looked at the lifecycle cost of a number of scenarios against a control and found the benefits of installing sprinklers in all new housing in terms of reduced fatalities, injuries and property loss, fell short of the additional costs. Therefore it did not support the mandatory installation of sprinklers in all housing or social housing in the Thames Gateway.