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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.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Automist solves a problem in St Andrews townhouse

Automist has been installed as the fire suppression solution for a brand new 4 storey townhouse in St Andrews, Scotland. Due to the height of the building Local Building Control determined that a residential sprinkler or alternative solution was required to comply with the Scottish Building Regulations. However, a conventional sprinkler system was not acceptable to the end client, so the builder recommended Automist to the owner as a potential alternative. They contacted Plumis Automist and Unite Security and Electrical of Perth the local Accredited Installers provided a turnkey design, installation and certification service, which included initial survey, design proposals and liaison with Building Control to ensure compliance and approval. The system comprises of 5 pumps, 6 wall and 1 tap mounted spray head emitter, which in the event of a fire will provide a fine water-mist spray to suppress the fire and aid escape. The owner is very pleased with the Automist solution and has approved the use of the project details and provided the attached images as a case study example.


Automist allowed period-built Gyde Barn to comply with building regulations

Plumis Automist provided an innovative fire safety solution for period-built Gyde Barn in Painswick, Gloucestershire. The stone-built property contained 4 bedrooms in the upstairs living space, which meant that in the event of a fire, escape would have been down a staircase through an open plan living area. When Millar+Howard workshop Architects from Chalford near Stroud were asked to design the conversion they knew that the open plan layout and height of the living area and the lack of a separate protected escape route would be a problem for Building Regulations. They were reluctant to install sprinklers as they would drench the property in the event of a fire, causing considerable water damage. They would also have been visually obtrusive and the necessary water tanks would have taken up precious space. They contacted Mainpoint Fire Protection of Cheltenham who specialise in the supply, installation and maintenance of fire protection equipment in the Cheltenham area to recommend a suitable solution.


Alan Gatenby, Mainpoint’s Fire Protection Consultant had no hesitation in recommending Automist from Plumis which he had installed in numerous similar projects. Automist’s unique design makes installation neat and economical with the need for significantly less pipe work and therefore disruption than a traditional sprinkler system.  This unique fire suppression device aims to control and suppress fires, significantly reducing the risk of injury, loss of life and property damage by maintaining tenable conditions for as long as possible while the occupants evacuate. This is achieved in several ways. Room temperatures in the region of the fire are reduced  because much of the fire’s energy is consumed in converting water to steam. The presence of smoke and toxic gases is significantly reduced by the production of copious amounts of inert steam in the immediate vicinity of the fire. This excludes oxygen, locally reducing temperatures and thus slowing the oxidation reactions of the fire. Flashover (the rapid ignition of combustible items in the room) is prevented by constraining room temperatures. Finally, structural elements of the home that are in the sprayed path are cooled, allowing them to resist the fire for longer.

Millard + Howard were delighted with the solution provided by Automist. “Four wall mounted Automist heads were installed in the open plan living area on the ground floor. In conjunction with appropriate complementary measures such as a suitable smoke alarm system, Automist effectively allowed the property to comply with building regulations whilst providing fire suppression in all access rooms and fitting in seamlessly with the overall design of the property.”

Plumis Automist avoids disrupting student lives

Plumis Automist has been used in one of the country’s larger independent boarding schools in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire by Mainpoint Fire Protection as a key part of an alternative fire protection scheme. The innovative watermist fire suppression solution was installed in Housman Hall, a newly built, 2 storey accommodation block. The 500 year old school is set in 100 acres of grounds and educates 1500 pupils from 2 to 18.

The school had installed a common area at the end of each floor but Hereford & Worcester fire officers were not happy when they made their inspections because the areas had been part of a corridor where the access to the outside was via an open plan area. The conventional solution of providing a protected enclosed stairwell, would have restricted the available space for the students’ recreation. The use of alternative compensatory measures, such as sprinklers was undesirable due to the danger of accidental discharge which could affect the fabric of the school and also disturb the students. Furthermore, installation of sprinklers would have been time consuming and costly.

The fire officers had seen a demonstration of Automist and had no hesitation in recommending its use to overcome the problem and called in Mainpoint Fire Protection, who specialise in the supply, installation and maintenance of fire protection equipment in the Midlands. Mainpoint had used Automist successfully in a number of similar projects and were confident that it would provide a solution.

Automist suppresses flames and limits smoke and heat which could have seriously affected the students, important considerations for a school where their welfare is paramount. It also uses significantly less water than traditional sprinklers minimising runoff and consequential water damage. “The school was delighted with the installation and the fact that it took just 1 day during a busy term time and caused no disruption to the smooth running of the school or the students’ day-to-day lives.” commented Alan Gatenby, Mainpoint’s Fire Protection Consultant.

The specification of Automist was approved by Worcester and Herefordshire Fire Brigade and was completed in December 2013.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Growing Business Awards Announces Innovator of the Year Winner

Fire protection manufacturer Plumis wins national business accolade


London, 26th November, 2014: The Real Business Growing Business Awards, held in association with Lloyds Bank and supported by the CBI, announced the 2014 winners last night at a ceremony held at the London Marriott Hotel.

Innovator of the Year was won by London based Plumis. The business offers affordable alternatives to domestic fire sprinklers, having developed a series of innovative fire suppression systems. Established in 2008, Plumis produces Automist, which is counted as one of the top 15 British inventions of the last decade by the British Library.

Judges commented: “Yusuf Muhammad (design director and co-inventor of Automist) is truly passionate about his product and his company. This business is achieving great commercial outcomes and is a credit to the system.”

The Innovator of the Year category celebrates genuine innovation in all aspects of business, ranging from unusual management strategies to disruptive business models and from ground-breaking product design to cutting edge manufacturing techniques.

Online investing via crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, was awarded Highly Commended. Also in the running for this category were water repellent technology manufacturer, P2i, call-centre solutions provider, Orderly Telecoms and security specialists, Metro Security. 

Plumis Design Director Yusuf Muhammad commented: "We are delighted to win this award and be recognised for our company’s innovative approach. At Plumis we seek to create products and services that set the standard for seamless property and life protection in the home, and enable modern open layouts that meet the fire safety requirements of Building Regulations."

Tim Hinton, Managing Director, SME & Mid Markets at Lloyds Bank, commented: “The Growing Business Awards are an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate UK business successes across a wide variety of industries. The stories behind this year’s award winners are incredibly interesting and motivating. It’s great to see the combination of personal passion and clever business thinking that have driven these businesses forward.”

Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “These firms all have a keen eye for innovation, which is crucial to driving their growth success, but also that of the broader economy. Their journeys should be an inspiration to all UK entrepreneurs.

“Huge congratulations to all the winners for their commitment, determination and success.”

Amy Carroll, Group Editor at Caspian Media, added: “The Growing Business Awards celebrated its 16th year with more entries than ever before. We are the most established and respected national recognition of SME and entrepreneurial success. The creativity and dynamism shown by this year’s entrants has been fantastic, it was a pleasure to see all their hard work rewarded at last night’s ceremony.”

The awards night was hosted by comedian Ed Byrne, and included a keynote speech from Richard Reed, co-founder of innocent drinks.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Firemaster SW use Plumis Automist for compliance with fire safety regs

When Mark Evans of FireMaster SW was asked to provide a risk assessment for a tourism business in North Devon, right at the beginning of the holiday season, he identified the problem of a compromised first floor escape route from an inner bedroom. And following consideration of the issue he recommended Automist from Plumis, an alternative innovative residential fire suppression solution, which uses a high pressure pump to generate a fine water suppression mist from nozzles. Automist overcame the problem of a compromised first floor escape route from an inner bedroom which had been jeopardised by the erection of a glass porch on the ground floor. Gemma McQuillam, the manager of the North Devon Surf School was keen to comply with all of the fire safety regulations placed upon her for the holiday let (i.e. Fire Safety Order, Housing Act and Building Regulations). However, she wanted a solution which would avoid the need for the removal of the porch and which could be installed in a day without disruption to the business at this critical time of year. Plumis Automist was an ideal solution to the problem.



Automist can be mounted on a wall or on the side of the staircase with the pump assembly hidden under the staircase, under a standard monobloc mixing tap or stand alone on a work top. In this case, Automist was installed on a lounge wall with pipework running from under a bath and through the bathroom wall. The benefits which were particularly relevant to the Surf School included uncomplicated and simple installation to deliver rapid automatic fire suppression.  Gemma greatly appreciated the neatness and cost-effectiveness of Automist and the fact that there was considerably less pipework than for a traditional sprinkler system. And she is pleased that, in the event of a discharge, there would be greatly reduced water damage compared to a traditional sprinkler system.

She was particulary impressed by Automist’s aesthetic attractiveness and its unobtrusiveness which reduced its visual impact – very important in the  tourism business. 

“We would thoroughly recommend FireMaster and Automist to anyone in the holiday let business for a simple and very tidy solution to fire safety.”


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.”