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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.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Plumis Automist facilitates flat conversion in London

Automist from Plumis, an LABC Registered and cost effective alternative to sprinkler systems was recently used in the conversion of a ground floor flat in Crouch End, Haringey, London into two separate flats, one of which incorporated a 27m long basement space. Building Control officers insisted that, in order to meet fire regulations, a fire suppression system like Automist that offers full room, active fire suppression should be used. The alternative would have been to install staircases in the light wells as a means of escape in the event of a fire. Mr S. Perkins, the owner of the property was reluctant to do this. “This was because it would have meant substantially enlarging the light well space, thereby reducing the internal space. And this would have seriously compromised the aesthetic of the project.”


The traditional alternative was to install sprinklers but, for this, additional building works would have been necessary in the already completed flats. Furthermore, a discharge would have drenched the new fixtures and fittings as well as the recently refurbished fabric of the property. Mr Perkins searched for a solution and visited the Plumis website where he familiarised himself with the Automist product, which uses a high pressure pump to generate a fine water mist from nozzles mounted under a standard tap, on a worktop or unobtrusively mounted on a wall. It is designed to limit fire growth and minimise exposure to toxic gases and heat, making escape safer in an emergency. He was referred to Fire Fend Installations, a London and South East-based accredited Automist installer who he duly contacted with his architect’s plans. Karen Cowling, Fire Fend’s General Manager dealt with the enquiry promptly and advised him that 3 fixed heads and 2 pumps would provide adequate protection, which, was approved by the private Building Control Officer. Mr Perkins was delighted with the solution. “We were in a position to install quickly and we were able to complete the process and commission the system within a relatively short time. Fire Fend made sure that the various elements were delivered to site when we needed them and we found the process pretty painless!”

Mr Perkins was fully satisfied with the completion of his project and would certainly consider using Plumis Automist and Fire Fend Installations for any future projects of this type.

Plumis Automist Smartscan provides alternative to enclosed lobby in Hitchin loft conversion

A Plumis Automist Smartscan system was installed recently in a loft conversion in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in order to facilitate the retention of the open plan living space. For this kind of contemporary, open space design Building Regulations demand that a protected enclosed stairwell is provided or they require the use of alternative compensatory measures such as sprinklers.

The property owner, Matt Newis was reluctant to install sprinklers because of the potential water damage to his home should the sprinklers be activated. He was recommended to consider the Plumis device and did some research on the internet. He was fully satisfied that it would fulfil his requirements as a more usable alternative to sprinklers, so he contacted his local approved Automist installer, Creative In/Exteriors Ltd. LABC registered Automist Smartscan is a modern alternative to a fire sprinkler system. Instead of the typical ceiling-mounted sprinkler head, this device consists of a wall mounted stainless steel panel that seamlessly integrates into the interior of almost any living space. As soon as the system is activated, the head of the unit rotates automatically to directly target fires with a powerful jet of water mist. This has been proven to achieve the same performance as the more familiar sprinkler systems. However, because this approach uses 90% less water there is significantly less water damage to the living space in the event of a discharge.


Automist also has the advantage of fitting unobtrusively into modern decors. In this case, the pump was located under the stairs and the spray-head on the staircase wall. A Kidde KF30 heat alarm complete with SMK23RU relay was installed and connected to the pump. The heat alarm was mains powered from an existing consumer unit, on a separate RCBO. This is effectively the trigger for the pump to activate. All plumbing work, electrical work and making good was completed by Creative In/Exteriors Ltd. The pump is connected to the existing consumer unit using FP200 cable and runs on a separate RCBO.

Mr Newis was pleased that Automist helped avoid the need to create an enclosed lobby to the exit from the bottom of the stairs, which exited at ground floor level into an open plan dining room and helped retain the open plan nature of the living space. He would most definitely use the Automist system again and indeed would recommend it to others.


Plumis Automist facilitates open plan design in terraced property

Plumis Automist has been used to provide an innovative, best value fire protection solution in a loft conversion in a terraced property in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Creative In/Exteriors, the local accredited Automist installers, installed the system to facilitate a contemporary open plan design whilst at the same time complying with Building Regulations. The means of escape was on the ground floor onto an open plan kitchen and dining room and as a compensatory alternative Building Regulations required an active fire suppression system such as sprinklers. The property owner was disinclined to do this because of budget considerations and the danger of accidental discharge which could seriously affect the fabric of the property and the fixtures and fittings. A suggested alternative was to create an enclosed lobby using a fire door but, equally, Mr Evans was reluctant to compromise the open plan design. A third option was to reconfigure the staircase but this would have proved expensive and intrusive.


Builders, Berkamstead Loft Conversions suggested Automist as an innovative and unobtrusive solution. It only uses 10% of the water required for a conventional sprinkler system and fitted seamlessly into this project. Furthermore, it delivers rapid and automatic fire suppression. The installation is neat and economical reducing the need for costly pipework and the disruption associated with a traditional sprinkler system.

Mr Evans was pleased with the fact that Automist enabled him to maintain the desired design of his property. He would definitely use the Automist system again and would recommend it to others with similar requirements.

Plumis Automist used to protect a Grade II listed Gatehouse

Plumis Automist was used to comply with building regulations and to provide unobtrusive fire protection in the Grade II listed Gatehouse Lodge, near Grantham in the Lincolnshire Vales. The Lodge had been rescued recently from dereliction and has been sensitively restored with a mix of original and contemporary features. The system was installed in the kitchen area to the front of the property because the escape route from the 1st floor came down into this small room, meaning that it was not protected as required in Approved Document B


The owners were reluctant to have sprinklers fitted because of the damage to the fabric of the period property and to the new fixtures and fittings the release of water would cause if they were activated. They had looked at the Plumis website and assessed that Automist would perfectly suit their requirements. Newflame Ltd of Peterborough is the Accredited Automist Installer for the region and Richard Scotcher recommended a wall mounted spray-head. 


Automist is a pre-engineered water mist system and uses a high-pressure pump to generate a fine water mist from nozzles. The innovative device uses significantly less water than a sprinkler system, minimising water damage and limiting run-off.  It provides residential fire life protection and can also be mounted stand-alone on a work top or under a tap. It is a simple, retrofit, alternative to sprinklers for full room active fire protection. 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. The system is activated utilising a heat detector as recommended in Approved Document B, effectively eliminating nuisance alarms. It fits seamlessly into any d├ęcor, which was a distinct advantage for this project where the interior decoration was such a crucial part of the character of the Lodge.