Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Protect People at Risk- Watermist

One of the biggest problems facing the owners and operators of premises that house the most vulnerable people in society, is how to protect them from fire. The Fire Industry Association ( FIA ) and The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association ( BAFSA ) have teamed up to consider how ‘watermist’ could be a major part of the solution.

Fire deaths persist in sheltered accommodation and premises where people are detained; the recent report into the 14 deaths in the fire at the Rose Park care home starkly illustrates this. Low and sometimes non-existent, staffing levels are increasingly being identified in risk assessments that are called for under UK fire safety regulations. Current and projected cut-backs in the Fire & Rescue Services mean those responsible may not be able to rely on the timely arrival of the manpower and resources necessary to save the lives of those at risk. Watermist may be considered as a viable option to ‘protect people at risk’ due to its ease of retrofit in the many existing facilities where timely evacuation in the event of fire is not achievable.

Watermist is ‘Waterspray with droplet diameters less than 1000 microns’. It is the latest fire protection technology providing highly effective fire suppression using very low water flows and is suitable for electrical hazards, ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and gases.

The key to its effectiveness is the dispersion of water in fine droplets. Water absorbs a large amount of heat by raising its temperature; it absorbs a considerable amount more when converting to vapour, but this can only happen if the droplets are small enough to readily vaporise.

The increased droplet surface area enables them to rapidly cool the environment. Watermist systems use significantly less water than other water based systems, reducing water damage when discharged and reducing the time and effort to restore premises afterwards.


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