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As National Sprinkler Week takes place this week (17th-23rd May), Plumis are calling for those supporting the event to look beyond the traditional sprinkler to ensure opportunities to improve domestic fire safety aren’t missed.

Instead by championing forward-looking technologies, such as the award-winning Automist fire suppression system, greater protection can be offered to vulnerable individuals, potentially saving more lives.

This ties in with a recent Building Research Establishment (BRE) report which highlighted the need for new technologies to improve fire protection for those most at risk.

In a special webinar for the event, Plumis’ Chief Design Officer, Yusuf Muhammad shared his insights on why he and Plumis Co-founder and CEO, William Makant decided to re-think the sprinkler when developing Automist. 

One of the key differences identified, is the way electronic activation allows the system to overcome existing constraints associated with traditional fire sprinklers. Automist is able to operate much earlier as unlike a sprinkler, it does not need a significant build up of heat to activate. This not only helps reduce smoke and maintain survivable conditions, but it can tackle a fire much faster, before it has the chance to develop into a much more dangerous one.

William Makant acknowledged the strengths of sprinklers in tackling fast-growing fires and the undoubtable role they have played in saving lives, but also spoke of their limitations.

“In the case of slow growing or concealed fires it may take significantly longer for temperatures to reach this activation threshold, whilst hazardous volumes of toxic smoke may still be produced. In this circumstance, sprinklers offer inadequate protection for vulnerable occupants who may be in the immediate vicinity of a fire or who are unable to escape easily.” 

William added: “Whilst welcoming any measures that improve safety, we must not ignore the types of fire and occupancy where sprinklers do not perform well. 

“Sprinkler Week should aim to examine the whole picture, highlighting newer AFSS that complement the old ones, so we can truly use this awareness week to enhance fire protection and save more lives.”

If you missed Thursday’s webinar, the full recording of the session is now available online. Topics covered include:

- The limitations of traditional sprinklers we were trying to overcome with Automist 
- Watermist's unique properties and suitability for tackling a range of domestic fires 
- Why we opted for electronic rather than manual activation 
- The reason Automist's sprayheads are mounted on the wall rather than the ceiling 
- What the system's black box records and why 

To join the discussion online, please follow us on Twitter @PlumisAutomist and use the hashtag #ThinkSprinkler to get involved in National Fire Chief Council's Sprinkler Week.

Listen now - Why it’s time to re-think the sprinkler.