With regular ceiling-mounted sprinkler systems, the whole room gets soaked when fire is detected – even if the flames themselves are just in one part of the room. London-based tech firm Plumis, however, is out to change that. The sprinklers for its Automist Smartscan system are located in the walls, and they only target areas where fire is present. As a result, the system reportedly uses 90 percent less water, causing much less water damage while offering the same fire-fighting performance as ceiling systems.

Here's how Automist works …

First of all, a single ceiling-mounted device senses when there's excessive heat in the room. This activates the wall unit, causing it to scan the room with its infra-red pyrometer. When it detects the hottest point in the room, it shoots a stream of water mist at that location, continuing to do so until the heat signature lessens to the point that it no longer poses a threat.

The wall unit can apparently be installed much more easily than a ceiling sprinkler system. It doesn't require its own water tank or additional piping, instead just running off the existing water system via a 3/4-inch hose attachment. Additionally, it's only 50 mm (2 in) deep, so not much behind-the-wall room is necessary. That said, it does require a 10-amp/230-volt electrical supply.

Automist Smartscan isn't available to buyers just yet, but is listed as "coming soon." Interested parties can contact the company through either of the websites listed below.

More information is available in the following video.

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