water mist systems


There has been much controversy over recent years about water mist systems being used for fire suppression when design features are relaxed for building regulations approval purposes, or other similar situations where premises are regulated or licensed. This is due in the main to there currently being no British Standard covering their design, installation and maintenance etc.


Water mist systems have been used for many years for marine applications, and have proved extremely effective but their use in the built environment has been limited. Many fire authorities however have been impressed by the performance of such systems and have accepted their installation as compensation for deviations from building regulations and other regulatory requirements.


The main advantage of water mist is the relatively small quantities of water used in comparison to  their sprinkler counterparts, typically only around 10%. This is an important factor in premises such as historic buildings, libraries and document archives where sprinklers may cause irreparable damage to valuable materials.


The main disadvantages have been the high pressures normally required to generate an effective water mist and the specialised pipe-work and control equipment required to operate it. Maintenance has also proved to be an issue.


An innovative new approach called 'Automist' has recently been launched by a company who won the James Dyson award in 2009. Sir James Dyson is quoted as saying "this simple but clever device should become a permanent safety feature in the home. Smoke alarms are an essential part of modern life but have remained fundamentally unchanged for 40 years. this device not only detects a fire but can put it out as well".




The system can be installed easily and cheaply into domestic property where it can usually be run from a standard domestic mains water supply. In this picture the system is operating in a kitchen where the mist can be seen emitting from the base of the kitchen tap. Up to now the system has only been tested on rooms up to 8m x 4m in size but will probably develop to cover larger spaces in due course.




Automist has been proved to be capable of rendering a normally lethal environment survivable. In a major furniture fire, even those immobilised in the room would have survived for the entire test period of 30 minutes. The system is also effective on electrical and chip and fires, and can be installed in rooms other than the kitchen, as can be seen below.



The Automist system is extremely cost-effective and will prove particularly beneficial in many social housing situations and premises where the occupants are vulnerable or at risk, however this type of system is undoubtedly an extremely effective fire protection system in the domestic environment.


For more information please contact us using the information below.



Contact us by email: info@marsden-fire-safety.co.uk

or telephone 0845 644 6515 or 01282 691616



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