Below are some of our frequently asked questions:


Automist is an innovative product designed to help compliance with building fire regulations, particularly in open plan layouts. Such products are permitted under Building Regulations as long as they have been tested and shown to be fit for purpose. A similar framework of requirements exists for the Fire Safety Order and the Housing Act. Automist's testing was conducted by BRE and is framed around demonstrating a survivable set of conditions in the room of origin of the fire by minimising toxic gas / low oxygen / heat exposure..
Automist is triggered by an industry standard 57°C heat alarm. Heat alarms can either be mains or battery powered and must have a relay output either via a wireless or wired connection. The relay should include Normally Open, Normally Closed and Common terminals. Alarm panels may be used provided that they offer a suitable relay output.
A correctly installed heat alarm will reliably trigger Automist and should supplement household existing smoke alarms which can provide an additional warning of fire. Heat alarms give an audible warning when the temperature at the alarm reaches 57°C and, unlike conventional smoke alarms, will not be triggered by burning the toast, steam from cooking, or a car's exhaust fumes.
When water is driven through a specialised nozzle at very high pressures (in Automist's case around 90 bar), the water is atomised to produce a fine mist or fog. Water mist removes heat from the fire and displaces oxygen from the fire zone, resulting in fire control, suppression or extinguishment. The intention is to reduce the oxygen concentration around the flame, lower the temperature and lessen the radiative heat to such an extent that combustion can be longer be maintained, thus reducing damage and maintaining survivable conditions.
High-pressure water mist has proven itself highly effective in protecting deep fat fryers for many years, and is regarded as a very clean way to address the problem. Traditional thinking says that you do not use water to extinguish an oil fire, because bulk water sinks below the oil and boils, ejecting burning oil into the room. The very fine droplets produced by Automist are small enough to be carried by thermal air currents, however. Rather than sinking below the oil, they are drawn into the flame where they suppress the fire.
In the event of a fire, Automist is programmed to run continuously for 30 minutes or while the alarm input remains active, whichever is the longer. This prevents interruption of mist operation if the room temperature drops below 57°C while a fire is still present. For installations where a fire panel will be controlling Automist, it may be set to operate only while its alarm input remains active. Automist uses approximately 10% of the water of a traditional sprinkler system, running at approximately 5.5 lpm, and therefore minimises consequential water damage and runoff. The system can be stopped at any time by pressing a button on the control unit.
Automist's suitability as a compensatory measure should be approved by your approved inspector, building control officer, or other council officer. For building control purposes, Automist is the subject of an LABC Registered Detail (RD171) for use in open plan layouts in loft converted houses. The Registered Details scheme should allow building control officers to approve a project without a long and detailed investigation. To determine whether Automist is suitable for your premises, send us an email with your layout plans attached. Our accredited partners can then provide you with a free layout recommendation and proposal, which should allow the approver to verify compliance with the Registered Detail.
For a normal retrofit installation with a single Automist unit, the installed system cost will usually be cheaper than sprinklers, with less disruption. Automist also does not require an external pump or tank.
Automist should be commissioned annually by an Accredited Installer. Commissioning is a simple programmed procedure which allows Automist to be tested, during which the pump runs for approximately 20 seconds and the output pressure is monitored.
In the UK alone there are 300,000 dwelling fires each year: 60% of these start in the kitchen. Little real impact has been made in reducing domestic fire property losses despite public and private sector fire safety campaigns. Student housing, care homes for the elderly, sheltered accomodation and flats with shared kitchens are all high risk categories. UK Government research suggests that socially deprived households are 31 times more likely to suffer fires than households in general.
To find out how Automist compares to other types of domestic fire protection please click here
Automist can be interconnected with many existing alarm systems, including the use of manual call points, however some caution is required. Where an existing system includes smoke alarms, it will not normally be desirable to trigger Automist when these alarms are activated. Where a fire alarm panel is used, Automist can be driven from a volt-free relay output.
Landlords have duties to assess and manage fire risks under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Housing Act 2004. It is a criminal offence not to comply with this legislation, punishable by large fines or prison sentences.The risk assessment process introduced by the legislation is designed to highlight issues with the property such as poor escape routes, or likely factors around residents such as the inability to self-rescue or early-stage dementia. The legislation requires that reasonable measures be taken to mitigate such risks and bans certain layouts such as inner bedrooms above first floor. Automist can be used to reduce the scale of the fire, slow its development and to give residents time to escape or to be helped to escape.Designed for ease of retrofit, Automist can be installed without major disruption. When installed in the course of a major refurbishment project, the advantage is twofold: disruption is minimised, and volume pricing offers exceptional value.
Automist is WRAS Approved. It has been examined, tested and found, when correctly installed, to comply with the requirements of the United Kingdom Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations/Scottish Water Byelaws.
Automist has been designed to be compatible with the vast majority of monobloc taps (45 – 60 mm diameter base) that fit into a standard 35 mm sink or work surface hole.
A single Automist unit was tested by BRE in an area 8 x 4 x 2.5 m with fire hazards up to 5m away. The spray head should therefore be within 5m of and in the approximate line of sight of any possible fire hazard. Performance data is also available for some variations of this rule, where automatic door closers can be provided.
The fire hazards that Automist was tested against were taken by BRE directly from DD8458-1 (the draft water mist standard) and BS EN 1869 (the standard for testing fire blankets on chip pans). These represent a serious fast-growing furniture fire and a kitchen oil fire and are tests well known in the industry.
Automist's installation guidelines ensure that these parameters are set up to be consistent with what we tested at BRE. Specifically:


1. A mist head should always be less than 5m from the fire, line of sight.
2. Water flow from a single pump is 5.5l/min as per our testing
3. Spray head pressure will be comparable to or better than tested - pressure is tested to be between 75 and 100 bar at installation time.
4. Compartmentation is based on DD8458. We tested two room sizes (8x4m and 4x4m) with doors open and doors closed, and data from these configurations is available in the Automist Technical Guide. The testing with doors open and closed also provides information on how performance changes with varying ventilation.


3d Fire Defence are trained to compare proposed room layouts to the layouts tested and make a determination on whether parameters such as ventilation and mist density will be similar. If this is not clear from the presented data, a Fire Engineer should be consulted.
These standards apply only to sprinklers throughout the whole property. For buildings within 45m of the road, houses with no more than one floor above 4.5m, and flats with inner bedrooms, there is no requirement in the England and Wales building regulations or in the LACORS guide for sprinklers throughout, only for suppression in a single compartment. This standard therefore is not a cost-effective way to meet building regulations in most properties and would not normally be followed fully even where a "standards based" sprinkler system was requested. Automist nevertheless follows many of the provisions of DD8458-1 and BS9251, as per our technical guide. Standards like these are necessary for sprinklers because they are a combination of pipes, nozzles and pump, often from multiple suppliers, which only when combined correctly through significant calculation will function properly. Automist by contrast is a pre-engineered solution. In this way the system is configured for a range of applications.
DD8489 covers industrial and commercial premises, including: "churches, clubs, educational facilities, hospitals, institutional facilities, museums, offices, data processing areas without open storage of information media, restaurant seating areas [and]... also covers apartments, nursing or convalescent homes and residential facilities with room sizes in excess of those covered by DD 8458-1."


These are not typical Automist applications and the use of Automist in such a setting would normally be supported by a suitable fire engineering report or fire risk assessment.
Innovative fire suppression systems are permitted for use by the English/Welsh and Scottish building regulations (e.g. section 0.18 ADB Dwelling houses). In general, innovative products cannot be certified by a third party as there is no standard to certify against. The testing therefore must be performed by a reputable third party testing facility and provide objective evidence that the proposed solution is safe and appropriate.
Automist requires 1-10 bar pressure and an available flow of at least 6l/min to operate correctly. This flow is less than the Eco-Shower specification for modern homes. UK government data (ref: Development of a lower-cost sprinkler system for domestic premises in the UK, Fire Research Technical Report 2/2007 -- Fire Protection Association / Department for Communities and Local Government: London) shows that 99.7% of UK homes have at least 1.5 bar in the daytime and 1.05 bar at night, assuming a 30% pressure reduction measure overnight.
The pump measures 160 x 385 x 260 mm and must be installed with a 100 mm gap without obstruction at both the front and back. The unit must be housed in a volume of at least 0.124 cubic metres and must not be covered with any products or materials.
The nozzles include a filter mesh to capture solids. In our tests we verified that there is no detectable change in nozzle performance over multiple hours of use, in a far more aggressive usage pattern than a real system would encounter.
This Registered System relates to the Automist automatic fire suppression device to be used as a compensatory measure for loft conversions where an open plan groundfloor layout exists.





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