Case Studies

Quenchfire

Summary

Quenchfire is a family company wholly focused on fire suppression for the domestic and residential sector. In 2015, Quenchfire developed the Halo Mist Fire System: a high-pressure watermist system designed to suppress fire in any type of home in the UK. In 2022, Halo became the first system to pass the FPA’s UKAS accredited BS 8458 Annex C residential and domestic watermist system test including all open room testing.

Challenges

Quenchfire developed Halo in recognition of the growing need for a fully compliant and comprehensive fire protection system in homes. Fast forward a few years and whilst Quenchfire felt that the existing Halo system and its reputation ensured they were one of the leading installers of high-pressure watermist systems in the UK, they recognised that their clients’ expectations had changed and they were seeking a smaller, more discreet, more cost effective, and more aesthetically pleasing system that satisfied British Standard 8458 for residential and domestic watermist systems. 

And so came about Halo 2.0! Quenchfire used their previous experience with BS 8458 testing along with hydraulic calculations to ensure the design of both the system itself and its newly developed spray head would produce optimal performance. Having been members of the FPA for several years, they decided to undertake the UKAS accredited BS 8458 watermist systems testing at the FPA’s laboratory in Blockley, Gloucestershire. 

How the FPA helped

The FPA is the first UKAS accredited fire testing facility in the UK to offer this important British Standard test. Due to the variety of tests within the standard, it was difficult to predict whether the Halo spray configuration in one test would be suitable for another. The main challenge Quenchfire faced was in the open room testing as, up until their visit, no other company has passed this part of the test at the FPA.

The test series looked at BS 8458 room fire test scenarios A, B, C, D, and E for water mist systems with automatic nozzles. A compartment with a floor area of 8m x 4m and a ceiling and doorway height of 2.5m was constructed in which to conduct the tests. The walls were lined with 15mm plasterboard, and the ceiling was lined with 12.5mm type F fire-rated plasterboard conforming to BS EN 520:2004. All instrumentation was monitored via a PC connected datalogger at sample rate of 1Hz. The temperature during the tests was monitored using 1.5mm mineral-insulated type K thermocouples in specified locations at heights of 1.6m above the floor and 75mm below the ceiling. The pressure was measured at the same height as the two heads, using a solid-state pressure transducer, and flowrate was measured using an inline turbine flowmeter.

Prior to testing, the fuel package – consisting of plywood sheets, sacrificial wooden boards, wooden frames, foam sheets, and wood crib sticks – was conditioned at a temperature of 23 (±2)°C and a relative humidity of 50 (±5)% for at least the minimum conditioning periods specified in BS EN 13238:2010 [2]. For each test, the fuel package’s location relative to the test compartment and method of ignition were as specified in BS 8458. Two water mist nozzles were installed in the test compartment with a 4m spacing, with a nominal system operating pressure of 100bar(g). A third nozzle was located outside the room. The distance between the ceiling and nozzle orifice was 15mm.

After completing all six tests (A-E) the water mist system provided by Quenchfire was able to meet the recommendations of clause 6.1 of BS 8458:2015 for an 8m x 4m room when tested in accordance with Annex C clause C.1 to C.4. The application for this system is therefore determined by table 3 of BS 8458:2015 to be limited to a room size of 80m2 with a maximum ceiling height of 3.5m.

Results and future plans

At the FPA we strongly believe that UKAS accredited testing demonstrates the effectiveness of a system which in turn enables our clients to provide reassurance to their customers that their system will perform effectively when required to, having gained a UKAS accredited stamp of approval.

Ollie Moyce, Quenchfire Director commented: “The FPA made the process of completing the testing as smooth as possible. Whilst there were a few bumps along the way, there was nothing the FPA’s staff wouldn’t do to help. We were also able to watch a live stream of the testing from the adjacent building, whilst never being left too long without a tea or coffee to calm the nerves!

“Being the only company to pass all 6 tests of the FPA’s rigorous watermist system testing is a huge achievement, and really does put the Halo2 system at the forefront of our industry. It means that our clients are now not only able to experience exemplary customer service, but they can also now be safe in the knowledge that the Halo system is proven to be superior to its rivals as it has been thoroughly tested at the UK’s leading testing laboratory.”

Jade Musto, Head of Suppression Systems at the FPA said: “We are thrilled that Quenchfire’s Halo system has passed the full suite of BS 8458 tests, including the open room tests. As well as meeting their customers’ needs by making Halo2 smaller and more cost effective, they can also now evidence that it is compliant with industry standards and best practice, having been third party tested to the highest standards.”

Find out more about the FPA’s UKAS accredited BS 8458 watermist systems testing
 

Quote

"The FPA made the process of completing the testing as smooth as possible. Whilst there were a few bumps along the way, there was nothing the FPA’s staff wouldn’t do to help"

Ollie Moyce

Director, Quenchfire

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