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.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Automist Smartscan LABC Registered Detail Announced

Plumis have announced Automist Smartscan is an LABC Registered Solution (EW534). It is suitable to be used in any application where a BS 8458:2015 compliant watermist system is deemed to be acceptable as a code-compliant automatic water fire suppression system, for example in accordance with the recommendations of BS 9991:2015.

The development of Automist Smartscan was steered by computational fluid dynamics modelling by the University of Greenwich’s Fire Safety Engineering Group. Once the design was finalised it was extensively tested and proven to deliver performance superior of the requirements of the British Watermist Standard (BS 8458). Aware of the need for evidence, we pushed the Smartscan’s limits beyond the bare minimum, challenging it in many additional tests to suppress or extinguish fires in any position (even difficult fires directly under the nozzle or hidden by furniture) and in a variety of draught conditions. Demonstration tests have convincingly proved its worth time and time again. It has even travelled to the USA, where the UL 2167 listing process is being kicked off and where it favourably impressed fire risk authorities in demonstration testing.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Plumis are delighted to celebrate today, 21 April 2016, being one of the select businesses recognised as winners of the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise - the UK’s highest accolade for business success. 

Our award was received for Innovation. This was in recognition of developing and commercialising a successful range of life saving fire safety products. Our latest innovation Automist Smartscanturned the traditional fire sprinkler, quite literally, on its head. It relocates the traditional spray heads from the ceiling to a wall mounted nozzle, and uses a rotating head that directly targets fires with a powerful jet of water mist. It has been proven to achieve the same performance as residential sprinkler systems and typically uses 90% less water, minimising the potential for water damage to the living space.

William Makant, Plumis MD, said "Automist Smartscan has risen in popularity among architects and builders for being super easy to retrofit—without requiring a tank or network of pipes. It offers more than a reliable safety device for fighting fires; it’s an intelligent modern design feature offering greater flexibility for projects with challenging building regulations, from loft conversions to more open-plan homes and flats."

Notes for Editors

  • 249 Queen’s Awards (QA) have been announced this year for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. Winners of The Queen’s Awards can expect an invitation to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace.
  • QA winners can also use The Queen’s Award Emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years as a symbol of their quality and success.
  • The awards are made annually by HM The Queen and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Impressive achievement: Automist Smartscan receives highest distinction in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016!

Automist Smartscan by Plumis is one of this year’s outstanding products: The Red Dot jury was enthused, and awarded Automist Smartscan a Red Dot: Best of the Best. In 2016, this highest single distinction in the international competition goes to only 1.5% of all entries. Manufacturers and designers from 57 nations had registered about 5,200 products and sent them to the Ruhr area in Germany – Automist Smartscan impressed with highest design quality and makes Plumis one of the leaders in an international comparison.
Automist Smartscan relocates the traditional spray heads from the ceiling to a wall mounted nozzle, and uses a rotating head that directly targets fires with a powerful jet of water mist. It has been proven to achieve the same performance as residential sprinkler systems and uses 90% less water, minimising water damage to the living space.

Automist Smartscan has risen in popularity among architects and builders for being super easy to retrofit—without requiring a tank or network of pipes. It offers more than a reliable safety device for fighting fires; it’s an intelligent modern design feature offering greater flexibility for projects with challenging building regulations, from loft conversions to more open-plan homes and flats.

With 41 experts from all around the world, who are chosen according to strict rules, the Red Dot Award: Product Design guarantees a very high judging competence: Only freelance designers, design professors and specialised journalists – but not designers employed at companies potentially participating – are appointed to the jury.

The independent expert panel assesses each entry strictly and fairly, live and on site, according to criteria such as degree of innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. The jury awards the highest single distinction “Red Dot: Best of the Best” for ground-breaking design. Only the best entries in a category receive this award.

Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and president of the Red Dot Award: “With their extraordinary feel for creativity and keen eye for unmatched precision, the Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates deserve this highest recognition. We will honour them at the formal presentation of the Red Dot Trophy on stage at the Aalto-Theater in Essen.”

4 July 2016 marks the culmination of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. During the glamorous awards ceremony, the Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates will accept their trophies in front of around 1,200 guests. At the subsequent after-show party “Designers’ Night”, the winners will celebrate until the early hours in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen in the midst of prize-winning products. All award-winning products will be presented in the special exhibition “Design on Stage” for four weeks before becoming part of the permanent exhibition.

With about 2,000 exhibits from 45 nations, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen displays the complete range of current product design. In the former boiler house of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein coal mine, it presents products that have won the Red Dot on five floors and approximately 4,000 square metres. Every year, the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design informs around 150,000 visitors about current trends and top achievements.

About the Red Dot Design Award:

In order to appraise the wide scope of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award is broken down into the three distinct disciplines: the Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. The Red Dot Award is organised by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. With more than 17,000 entries in 2015 alone, it is one of the largest competitions in the world. It was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The name and brand of the award were developed in the 1990s by Red Dot CEO, Professor Dr. Peter Zec. Since then the sought-after “Red Dot” is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality. Further information:

Monday, 22 February 2016

Open Planned: a new resource for anyone considering an open plan layout in the UK

Open Planned, a revolutionary new website dedicated to open plan living, is launched today.

This exciting new venture can teach the homeowner what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to redesigning their living space - a crucial tool at a time when the open plan lifestyle is increasingly popular, boosting the value of a property, as well as making a practical, functional and exciting upgrade to any home.

But whether it’s an open plan kitchen/diner, a loft conversion, basement or split level ground floor, there are crucial building regulations and fire safety standards to contend with, and these can put serious constraints on design, planning permission and finances. This is why Open Planned is such a crucial product – its guides will help anyone and everyone navigate their way through the whole process.

Open Planned is also packed full of handy hints and fast fixes - whether you’re seeking professional interior design help, looking for the best furniture, flooring, artwork and lighting ideas, or even sneaking a peek at open plan celebrity homes for inspiration.

So whether you’re a homeowner, landlord, architect or designer, save time, money and stay safe by making Open Planned your first stop.

Forget Broken Plan and get Open Planned!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Plumis Automist enables independent living

During a lifetime, each of us runs a 1 in 5 risk of being involved in a serious house fire with the young, the elderly and those the least able to escape being the most vulnerable. When a brand new accommodation unit was built in the centre of Cheltenham for people with disabilities and acquired brain injuries it was decided to add fire protection to increase the time to evacuate the building in the event of a fire.

National Star College provides specialist further education, training, personal development and residential services. The design of the building was such that the bedrooms in the 4 independent living units were at the back of an open plan living area with no protected escape route. 

John Everitt, a partner in Coombes Everitt, the architects who designed the building had used an innovative fire suppression solution in the past which uses a high pressure pump to generate a fine water mist (nebula) from nozzles mounted under a standard tap, on a work top or on a wall to provide residential fire life protection.  “I had no hesitation in recommending that Automist from Plumis was used because it is easy to install and aesthetically pleasing, seamlessly integrating into the design as well as being very cost effective as it costs a fraction of traditional sprinklers.” The innovative device is designed to limit fire growth and minimise the residents’ exposure to toxic gases and heat in the event of a fire. It makes evacuation easier in an emergency – particularly important for vulnerable people as it provides precious extra time for the unconscious and immobile, as well as sounding an alarm. Sensing is based on heat detection as recommended in Approved Document B making it a very reliable solution.

Coombe Everitt plan on continuing to use Automist including in listed buildings which are being converted into flats.

For further information on this project or the Plumis Automist range of water imist suppression solutions call Plumis on +44 (0) 20 7871 3899, visit or email 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Fighting fires with water mist

As a process, a fire involves a chemical reaction between combustible fuel and oxygen from the air. The prerequisites of sustained burning are:
  • Combustible fuel: This can be solid (Class A), liquid (Class B) or gas-phase
  • Oxygen: The ambient air contains about 21 volume-% of oxygen
  • Heat for ignition: Once the fire has got started, the fire itself will generate the heat to sustain burning
  • Uninterrupted chemical chain reaction between the above three elements

To extinguish a fire, at least one of the above elements must be removed:
  •  The fuel supply can in some cases be removed, e.g. by shutting of the fuel supply to an engine. In other cases it cannot be affected
  • The oxygen concentration can be lowered, e.g. by adding an inert (non-reactive) gas into the fire
  • The heat can be removed, e.g. by wetting the combustible surfaces or cooling the flame.
  • The chain reaction can be interrupted by adding a chemical that reacts with unstable sub-products of combustion.

When talking about fire fighting, three different terms are used:
  •  Fire extinguishment: Complete elimination of any flames and smouldering fire. No re-ignition will take place, when the fire fighting is ceased
  • Fire suppression: A sharp reduction in the heat release rate and prevention of re-growth of the fire
  • Fire control: Limitation of fire growth and prevention of structural damage

When talking about fire protection, water mist is divided into three categories:
  • Low pressure: < 12 bar
  • Medium pressure: > 12 bar and < 36 bar
  •  High pressure: > 36 bar

Water uses two major firefighting mechanisms, both related to the evaporation of water:
  • Cooling: When turning into vapour, water absorbs more heat than any other firefighting agent
  •  Inerting: When turning into vapour, the water volume expands 1760 fold, causing the oxygen to be displaced

The droplet size of a conventional sprinkler system exceeds 1 mm. The corresponding size for high pressure water mist, when using special nozzles, is in the order of 0.01 mm (nebula). Hence, with a high pressure water mist system, considerably less; water is needed for the same cooling and inerting efficiency as in conventional water spraying systems. Water in the form of mist offers an additional firefighting benefit that no other fire-fighting agent has, i.e. blocking of radiant heat. The large number of droplets and the large combined surface area effectively absorbs and scatters heat radiation. This prevents the spreading of the fire. This radiant heat blocking is so efficient that people at a distance of only a few meters from the fire feel no heat.

The use of water mist systems in the United Kingdom has increased over the last few years due to a number of reasons, as a technology it is:
  • Non-toxic;
  • No asphyxiation risk;
  • Low cost;
  • Efficient at cooling due to fast vaporisation of the small droplets;
  • High efficiency in suppression;
  • Environmentally friendly;
  • Minimising consequential water damage;

(Reference: High Pressure Water Mist - The Modern Approach in Fire Fighting, Stefan Gordin)

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Automist Smartscan by Plumis – A Redefinition of the Fire Sprinkler

Introducing Automist Smartscan

Automist Smartscan® is more than a safety device for suppressing fires—it’s a modern design feature. An evolution of the James Dyson award-winning Automist®, the discreet wall-mounted device enables homeowners and architects to design beautifully light and open spaces, while still meeting challenging requirements of building regulations. 

Automist Smartscan® has a rotating head that directly targets fires with a powerful jet of water mist. It has been proven to achieve the same performance as residential sprinkler systems, and uses 90% less water resulting in minimal water damage to the living space. 

Why Automist Smartscan?

Direct targeting – Automist Smartscan® suppresses fires more efficiently by targeting the origin of the fire directly
Meets the highest performance standards – Automist Smartscan® has met the fire performance standards outlined in BS 9252 and BS 8458 DPC.
Minimises damage – Unlike conventional sprinklers, Automist Smartscan® can be stopped once the fire is extinguished, minimising potential water damage
Robust activation – Automist Smartscan® is triggered by reliable heat detectors and therefore is not prone to false alarms like a smoke alarm.
Less disruption – The average retrofit and installation process takes just a few hours with minimal impact to the building or disruption to daily lives.
Low maintenance – The annual maintenance is quick and simple, taking just a few minutes.
Low water usage – Automist Smartscan® typically uses 90% less water than traditional sprinkler systems, minimising consequential water damage.

Over the years we’ve changed how we design our homes. It’s about time we changed how we protect them, too. Automist Smartscan® enables home design to be as beautiful as possible, while meeting industry fire performance standards. It enables more control with easy retrofit and installation. Most importantly, it enables peace of mind that your living space is protected while you’re away.

To learn more visit: or