Welcome to the Plumis fire protection blog. Stay informed about domestic fire safety, fire building regulations and ADB-compliant solutions for open plan living. Please feel free to browse through the posts and comment about what you read.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Automist keeps students safe

Plumis-Automist, the innovative watermist fire suppression solution, has been installed in 7 refurbished student flats in Nottingham as an aesthetic, lower cost, lower risk alternative to sprinklers. The developers, Azamour Investments Ltd, refurbished the building, which was built around 1900 to contain 9 single bedroom flats and bedsits. They were advised by Building Control that fire protection was necessary in the kitchen areas of 7 of them due to their open plan design. The investor was recommended to install Automist to keep the students safe and to comply with Building Regulations by their Approved Building Control inspectors operating as an alternative to Local Authority Building Control.

They called in Yorkshire-based Blue Light Safety Ltd, an independent fire safety company offering a total solutions service for every aspect of fire safety. Blue Light had been introduced to Automist by a retired Fire Safety Officer who believed in the benefits provided by Automist. These include rapid and automatic fire suppression and neat and economical installation. Significantly less pipework is needed and disruption is kept to a minimum compared to a traditional sprinkler system. And there would be greatly reduced water damage to the fabric of the property, fixtures and fittings in the event of a discharge, which was important in the newly refurbished dwellings. Automist can save lives and prevent devastating damage by suppressing flames and limiting smoke and heat. It provides full room active fire protection, and offered the developers the freedom and flexibility to provide modern, contemporary, open-plan layouts whilst still complying with Building Regulations, the RRFSO and keeping occupants safe.

Daniel Smith MIFSM MIFPO, Commercial Director who founded Blue Light in early 2012 considers Automist to be an excellent product which can be used in many applications where fire safety is paramount and says: “There was no hesitation in fitting Automist in the flats.”

Water mist provides a solution for persistent arson attempts

Arson is the no.1 cause of fire in the UK. Since 1997 the number of malicious fires in Britain has risen to more than 123,000 a year; 50 people die in fires started by arsonists and 3,200 are injured. This causes serious problems to the authorities. Camden Council had a severe difficulty with an arsonist housed pre-trial in a temporary shelter who needed to be monitored 24/7 because of the danger of recidivist behaviour. However, there was still a time delay between an hourly round for an attempt at arson, during which time considerable damage to property and life was possible. The cell was fitted with a heat detector which in turn was linked to the communal fire alarm system. Therefore, when the prisoner smoked in their cell the alarm was activated throughout the whole building, causing considerable disruption for residents and staff alike.

Elite Fire Safety Ltd of Northfleet were contacted by the maintenance department of Camden Council to see if they could provide a solution. Following a site meeting at the building Elite Fire Safety Ltd recommended the use of Automist, an active fire protection system which uses a high pressure pump to generate a fine water mist. The existing heat detector was removed from the cell and an independent hard wired with lithium battery back-up battery smoke detector was installed to control the Automist system in addition to activating a flashing beacon fitted in the reception area thus advising the staff on duty that a breach of the rules had occurred. The Automist wall-mounted spray nozzle was hidden behind a protective metal cage to prevent interference. Since Automist was installed the common parts alarm is no longer activated and there is no further requirement for 24 hour monitoring.

The system was activated soon after installation, the arsonist was sprayed with water mist and the fire was controlled. After a second system activation they learnt their lesson, changed their behaviour and there have been no further incidents.

Neil Perring of Elite Fire safety is delighted with the outcome. “Because of the success of this installation, Camden Council is considering using Automist in 4 high risk rooms for arsonists in a dedicated hostel.”

Automist fire protection for prestigious development

Plumis-Automist the innovative watermist fire suppression solution has been installed in a prestigious London development as an aesthetic, lower cost, lower risk alternative to sprinklers and all the parties involved are delighted with the installation.

In the heart of Marylebone Village, 18 Marylebone High Street is said to be one of the world’s most exclusive locations. The development of 5 spacious flats with extensive balconies and external terraces arose from the conversion of an old commercial building. But of course Building Control had to be consulted and complied with, just as in a less prestigious project. Elite Fire Safety Ltd of Dartford in Kent was called in to provide fire protection by Design Coalition for their client the Vigo Group who was undertaking the conversion. Neil Perring, Elite’s Managing Director had to communicate and negotiate with the Building Control company Quadrant to obtain approval and recommended an innovative product to meet the requirements of Approved Document B.

Automist, manufactured by Plumis, is the first active fire suppression system to provide a more affordable alternative to sprinklers, whilst completely satisfying the demands of fire regulations and designers alike. Automist uses a high pressure pump to generate a fine water mist from nozzles mounted under a standard tap and provides residential fire and life protection without the drawback of excessive water discharge associated with sprinklers. Dependent upon layout and suppression requirements the innovative system allows nozzles to be mounted on work tops or neatly in a bespoke wall mounted unit. There is no need for wiring or complicated pipework hence design and aesthetics are not compromised – vital in this prestigious development.

Most of the flats in Marylebone High Street were fitted with a single nozzle system, but the 4th floor flat was fitted with a 2 nozzle system due to its size and the complexity of its escape route.

The Vigo Group were delighted with Elite’s recommendation and have subsequently invited the Dartford company to work on a further conversion site at Endford Street, in Central London. Neil Perring owes much of the success of the Marylebone High Street project to Automist. “Without the design flexibility that Automist offers, the development would have been less aesthetically attractive and also more costly because there would have been much more disruption caused by the installation of pipework and wiring. We definitely plan to use Automist in the future for projects where the demands of Building Control and aesthetic considerations are both paramount.”