Water Mist Fire Protection for Network Rail Archives – Hydramist Solution

What is the safest way to protect your documents and items of historical, cultural or academic importance against fire? High pressure water mist delivers the fastest suppression of fire and smoke – and it only uses trace amounts of water when activated. One example is how Hydramist water mist solutions were chosen to protect the Archive Store at Network Rail in York.

Protecting documents of historical importance

The Network Rail Archives Central Archive Store at Network Rail in York is home to a unique collection of rail-related architectural drawings and documents. Some of the oldest materials date back 200 years, to the first railroad and locomotive designs by George and Robert Stephenson.

A crucial requirement for the fire protection system was its ability to safeguard each storage area individually while detecting smoke at the earliest possible stages. Many of the archive documents are exceptionally delicate and cannot endure excessive heat, water, or smoke exposure. Consequently, the project specifications demanded rigorous testing to select the most suitable fire protection system.

System design – Hydramist pump with very early smoke detection

The key elements of the fire protection system for the Network Rail Archives are Hydramist high pressure water mist pumps, high pressure water mist nozzles and Very Early Smoke Detection Aspirators (VESDA).

In the event of fire, the pump forces water under pressure through the water mist nozzles in the affected fire area. The nozzles emit fine mist that rapidly cools the heat, suppresses the fire and reduces the spread of smoke.

Key benefits of Hydramist fire protection for archives – compact, fast, efficient and clean

– As only very small amounts of atomised water are used, Hydramist mist can be used where  sprinklers are not suitable – including archives and museums.

-High pressure water mist is proven in controlled independent testing to offer the fastest suppression of fire and heat.

-Hydramist’s cooling properties prevent the fire from reigniting.

-High pressure water mist is the only fire protection system to dramatically reduce the spread of smoke

-Smaller and fewer components simplify installation, retrofitting and maintenance.

Archive fire Testing and observations

Before the archive fire system was commissioned, a series of fire tests were carried out in accordance with NFPA750 guidelines and the specific requirements of Network Rail, under the supervision of their designated fire risk consultant.

During the testing, the fires started in various positions were quickly controlled and extinguished by the Hydramist system.Archive documents stored adjacent to the fire source were unaffected throughout the tests and there was no water penetration into the document containers.

The tests proved conclusively to Network Rail and their representatives that water mist is the best fire protection solution for archives.

Related Topics

Discover how to improve fire safety in rail infrastructures with Hydramist’s water mist fire protection solutions. 
Learn about the safety benefits of Hydramist’s high-pressure water mist fire protection technologies.

Contact us today to discuss how we can optimize fire protection for your archive projects. Reach out to us via email at info@hydramist.co.uk or call us at +44 (0) 800 731 9288.


+44 (0) 800 731 9288 | Amber House, Station Road, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 2AT, UK. | info@hydramist.co.uk