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State-of-the-art watermist suppression system protects Safari Park lodges

19 November 2021

THE MANAGEMENT team at leading Worcestershire tourist attraction West Midland Safari Park have increased fire protection for visitors thanks to the installation of the Automist watermist suppression system developed by Plumis.

The Safari Park has created new exclusive accommodation overlooking the cheetahs, red pandas and African elephants, which is specifically designed to afford guests an unforgettable overnight wildlife experience.

The themed lodges have been built with thatched roofs and a large, open-plan living area as well as a downstairs and upstairs bedroom.

The layout and construction of the lodges presented particular fire safety challenges that meant the installation of traditional fire safety systems, such as sprinklers, wasn’t a practical option. To provide the ultimate protection for its visitors, West Midland Safari Park’s management team approached approved Automist installer BCK Fire Sprinklers to discuss the specification.

Yusuf Muhammad, chief design officer at Plumis, told Fire Safety Matters: “This project had some very specific requirements. With each room in the lodge connecting to the main living area, the Safari Park needed a system that would provide increased protection to the lodges’ means of escape in the event of a fire. In addition, it would not have been possible to install a large water tank in the wooden prefab structure, while traditional sprinklers would not have suited the authentic design of the lodges. A more innovative solution was required.”

Dry pipe system

Plumis’ watermist fire suppression system is designed to be easily retrofitted. Consuming 90% less water than a traditional sprinkler-based solution, the system can be seamlessly connected to the existing water supply.

Automist is a dry pipe system and remains completely free from water until such time that a fire is detected. This removes the risk of leaking pipes.

When activated, a pump drives mains water through the wall-mounted nozzle unit, targeting the fire with a dense fog of watermist. This removes heat and displaces oxygen from the fire zone, in turn resulting in fire control, suppression or extinguishment. During extensive testing, Automist has addressed a fire up to two minutes before traditional sprinklers.

Consideration of solutions

After considering the fire safety solutions available, it was agreed with the Safari Park’s fire safety officers that Plumis’ watermist fire suppression system could be installed sensitively and quickly, while also providing suitable protection for overnight guests.

To date, BCK Fire Sprinklers has carried out eight installations across the West Midland Safari Park’s lodges – taking just two days for each – and has plans to carry out more installations in the coming months.

Neil James, project manager at the West Midland Safari Park, said: “The safety of our guests is of the upmost importance. Finding a solution which was effective and in keeping with our themed design was no easy feat. We’re pleased with the final result and delighted to be working with BCK Fire Sprinklers on the next phase of our accommodation development.”

*Further information is available online at www.plumis.co.uk