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.”