Plumis Automist, the innovative water mist fire suppression system, was used to protect a unique 100 foot tower known as Faringdon Folly Tower, in a circular woodland in rural Oxfordshire. Faringdon Folly, built in 1935 by an eccentric nobleman was the last major folly to be built in England and is hailed as ‘Britain’s finest 20th Century folly’ and as ‘one of the most important follies in Britain’.
"There are many single points of view, which equal, or perhaps surpass, that to be seen from this place, but when a circuit is made of its summit, and new beauties are found at every step, it cannot fail to be pronounced the finest circular view in the kingdom," Extract from Pigot & Co's Directory of 1824 on Faringdon’s Folly
There are 154 steps which lead to the 2 rooms at the top from where the roof is reached and there is no other access or exit and certainly no fire escape. As it is used for private functions like parties and naming ceremonies and is open to the public twice a month, Oxfordshire Fire Service recommended that fire suppression measures were taken and suggested it be installed in the entrance hall where the electrics are housed in a cupboard under the staircase. The Trustee, Eddie Williams believed that sprinklers were unattractive due to the need for pipes to be installed across the ceiling. He searched the internet for an alternative and was impressed by Plumis Automist which is a simple, retrofit, alternative to sprinklers for full room active fire protection. It works by using a high pressure pump to generate a fine water mist and is activated utilising a heat detector as recommended in Approved Document B, effectively eliminating nuisance alarms. The device automatically and reliably detects and suppresses incipient fires before they can take hold and cause devastating damage and potential injury or loss of life. This was particularly crucial for a building which is open to the public and where access is so restricted. Automist is designed to limit fire growth and minimise exposure to toxic gases and heat making evacuation easier in an emergency and providing precious extra time for the unconscious and immobile, as well as sounding an alarm.
Automist was installed in a matter of hours with no disruption to the day to day running of the Folly and Eddie Williams would recommend Automist to others. “We take the safety of our public very seriously but, at the same time, didn’t want to compromise the historic nature or aesthetic value of the Folly so when we discovered Automist it solved many problems. We would definitely recommend it to others in the tourism businesses where visitor safety is paramount.”