Automist: Low-flow intelligent interior fire sprinkler to support wildfire defence

Typically, when we imagine wildfires, we picture massive walls of flames engulfing houses. In actuality, most houses don't catch fire when they come into direct contact with a flame front. It's estimated that embers carried by the wind and transported forward of the fire perimeter destroy 90% of homes indirectly. Small flaming embers from a wildfire can fly many kilometres beyond its perimeter when wind and heat combine to create heat.

Buildings sometimes burn "from the inside, out" in wildfires (Leonard & McArthur 1999). This means that building combustion in wildfires is often relatively minor until the interior ignites, at which point an indoor fire starts to prevail and eventually destroys the building. This tendency may be explained by the abundance of flammable materials found in typical furniture as well as the confined interior space, which can cause hot combustion products to build up and radiate heat (Drysdale 2011). These fires may start in one of three ways: 1) an ember gets inside through an opening (such as a broken window or exposed vent); 2) enough radiant heat is transferred through windows to ignite objects within the building; or 3) external building surfaces burn.  


When a building is set on fire by radiant heat or embers from the inside, indoor sprinklers may assist in protecting buildings from wildfires. However, it is unclear how successful they are in stopping fires that start outside and spread inside. One big concern is water supply accessibility and piping resistance to wildfire assault. Some data suggests that, during wildfires, there can be drops in the water pressure from public utility networks (CFS 2011; FPAA 2000; Potter & Leonard 2010).                   


Automist uses 5% of the water of traditional fire sprinklers

Automist is a unique home fire protection proposition which could be utilized alongside other methods (e.g. hardening and exterior fire sprinklers) to provide defence from wildfires. It draws less water than a pot filler facet (2.4 gallons of water a minute maximum water demand) and can connect directly to the standard water main, making installation easy and minimising water damage if it does activate. It has been independently, third-party, tested to meet international standards. It is the only home system that targets the fire at its source and operates early for faster suppression. Because this is a ‘dry pipe’ system it is far less susceptible to burst pipes caused by freezing and can also be applied in attics. Fill out the form below to register your interest and be informed when Automist is available in your area.

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