Last week I left the homestead in Vermont for a two-day trip to Boston. Somewhere on Interstate 89 in New Hampshire I got to thinking about the range oven and whether or not I had turned off one of the burners after making tea. There was no way I was going to turn around, so I had to convince myself that I would not return two days later to find the home a charred and smoldering heap.

Fortunately, my worst fears were not realized.

But what if forgetfulness really had set in? Without a sprinkler system in place, the home could easily have gone up in flames in no time.

This frequent scenario prompted the invention of the Automist, a fire suppression system that installs between your faucet and your sink, connects with the main water feeds and projects a fine water mist into the kitchen air in the event of a fire. The whole system is connected to a wireless fire alarm, installed in the ceiling of the kitchen. When any part of the kitchen is set on fire, the wireless fire detector initiates the Automist, which employs a small high-pressure pump that sprays mist through an emitter and into the kitchen. This creates an “inert atmosphere,” robbing the fire of oxygen and suppressing the blaze.

A winner of the James Dyson Award, the Automist will be launching in the UK later is Spring; a US launch is in the works as well. The device will retail for £410 without the wireless heat detector transmitter/receiver or £560 with it. No word yet on a US price, but already you’re looking at a fraction of the cost of installing an overhead sprinkler system.

If you go to the Automist site, be sure to watch the videos of the device in action.

Ever dealt with a fire in the kitchen? Tell us about it.

Plumis Ltd.