Manufacturers are increasingly choosing mist systems over sprinklers for fire safety, a leading specialist has claimed.
Surefire Systems, which markets the Scotch Mist system, said it had seen an "unprecedented rise" in inquiries from manufacturers, many of which occupy buildings with flammable composite panels -- otherwise known as sandwich panels. Increasingly, fire fighters are refusing to enter such buildings unless fire dampeners are installed, it claimed, and insurers are reluctant to cover them.
Traditional sprinklers are expensive to install and can contaminate products with large volumes of water when activated accidentally, said Surefire's chairman David Simmons.
He claimed mist systems were easier to install, used less water, could be directed against ceilings, walls, cooking equipment and panel joints and were supplied by water that could be kept clean in closed tanks. Plants could therefore be put back into service quickly after an accidental discharge. Spray systems could also help in cutting costs, said Simmons, including making it easier to buy affordable insurance.
"If food manufacturers got together to fund application specific testing under the umbrella of the Association of British Insurers, water mist composite panel protection systems could become standard as the cost effective alternative to increased insurance premiums," he said.