Haltia is a meeting and exhibition building, so it is extremely important to have a fire protection system that covers the whole building. The solution for the building’s protection is a Finnish fire fighting system that is based on high-pressure water mist. The system is backed up for power outages with a diesel-driven standby generator that starts up in case of power outages with just a 15-second delay.
Cutting-Edge Finnish Technology
HI-FOG® technology by Marioff Oy extinguishes fire by discharging a fine water mist at high velocity and high pressure. The suppression of the fire is based on the water mist reducing the temperature of the seat of fire. This means that fire can be extinguished with significantly less water than in traditional sprinkler systems, and in the best case with only 10 per cent of it. In addition to saving water, the system also minimises water damage, and rescue crews can continue working in the area even after the sprinkler has gone off. Extinguishing the fire is not based on soaking the site with the water being sprayed but on reducing the temperature of the fire site with the water mist so that the fire dies down.
In the traditional sprinkler system, the water runs in iron pipes that accumulate rust over time. The rusty water used for extinguishing a fire creates a considerable cleaning task afterwards. The pipes in Haltia’s fire protection system are made of stainless steel, so the water used for extinguishing fire will be clean.
When going off, Haltia’s fire protection system will take water from Espoo’s municipal water supply system, but the building also has a water reservoir of 21 cubic metres as a backup.
Extinguishing Fire with Water Mist
Unlike the traditional sprinkler system whose performance is based solely on soaking, the performance of the method used at Haltia is based on three facts:
1. Water mist cools the air and surfaces as it evaporates.
2. Water vapour blocks radiant heat.
3. Evaporation effectively binds energy.
Protection for Valuable Exhibitions
Haltia was built with security in mind so that it can host exhibitions with even the most valuable works of art. They are also protected by the building’s fire fighting technology; in case of fire, water mist will not cause damage to the valuable objects.
In addition, the fire suppression piping in Haltia’s exhibition storeroom and the changing exhibitions hall contain air instead of water. In these areas, the fire fighting system only goes off after a smoke alarm, at which point the valve releases water into the pipes and water mist into the room. When heat opens the nozzles, they release water mist in the fire site. This minimises the risk of leaks and false alarms in areas that would suffer the greatest damage by water.