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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Plumis Automist provides fire protection in Cheltenham development

Plumis Automist was used to provide active fire suppression in a new development of five 2 and 3 storey detached houses in Church Street, Charlton Kings, an affluent suburb of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The view of Cheltenham Borough Council Building Control was that, because each property had a large amount of glazing adjacent to the boundary of the site this constituted a fire risk. The proximity of walls to any boundary line determine how much glazed area can be used for a window. For example, if the wall is within 1.0m of the boundary then the window or door can only have 1.0m² of unprotected glazing unless alternative measures are put in place such as the use of sprinklers. The developers, Sptifire Properties LLP were very reluctant to install sprinklers which would potentially have caused water damage in the event of a discharge. They had had Automist installed in an apartment complex they had constructed in Leamington Spa in 2014 and believed that it would represent an ideal solution so they called on Mainpoint Fire Protection of Cheltenham, the local accredited Automist installer.

Automist is an innovative water mist device which controls and suppresses incipient fires, significantly reducing the risk of injury, loss of life and property damage for as long as possible giving the occupants vital time to evacuate. It reduces the temperature of the room in the region of the fire by consuming much of the fire’s energy. This is achieved by the water’s conversion into steam, thereby suppressing the flames without drenching the room. Automist also reduces the presence of smoke and toxic gases by producing large amounts of inert steam in the vicinity of the fire. This excludes oxygen which lessens temperatures thereby slowing the oxidation of the fire. Automist also prevents flashover because the temperatures are constrained. Finally, the structural elements of the property that are in the sprayed path are cooled down, allowing them to resist the fire for longer.

Mainpoint installed 2 pump units, 1 worktop mounted spray nozzle, 1 wall mounted spray nozzle and 2 240V heat detectors in each of four properties with a second wall mounted spray nozzle being installed in the fifth. The system was installed at basement level in the kitchen/breakfast room of the 3 storey houses and a similar room at ground floor level in the 2 storey house.

Paul Owen, Spitfire’s Technical Manager was delighted with the solution: “The use of Automist allowed the development to proceed seamlessly without impinging on the design of the properties, which depended on the use of significant amounts of glass. We will definitely use Automist in future developments.”

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