Sprinklers spread

IMS report predicts water mist suppression system growth in Americas
Friday, August 1, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas--The global water-mist suppression systems market is expected to grow significantly over the next three years, but it’s expected to grow most rapidly in North America, according to a July IMS research report.

IMS predicts the global market to grow at compound average growth rate of 13.5 percent from 2006-2011.

“The majority of water-mist systems have been installed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa [EMEA],” said Paul Everett, research director for access control, fire and security in the IMS U.S. office here. However, “interest is growing in North America and Asia where the advantages of such systems are growing in their appeal.

IMS Research estimates that the EMEA market accounts for an estimated 69.8 percent of global revenues of water-mist systems. However, the fastest growth is forecast for the Americas region with 17 percent.”

Water-mist systems use special nozzles to create very fine water droplets that can cover a large area, and which evaporate quickly. The systems are touted for being “green” and versatile.

The National Fire Protection Association first came out with a water-mist design and installation standard (NFPA 750) in 1996, Everett noted, but until recently these systems have been used primarily in “marine and industrial machinery spaces such as turbine enclosures.”

Use of the systems elsewhere is “relatively new,” he said. Water-mist systems are gaining acceptance in museums, which had previously shunned any kind of sprinkler systems because of the potential water damage. A number of certified tests have helped overcome that fear, he said.

“The biggest potential for water-mist systems over the next few years will be in the transportation sector, including airports and particularly tunnels,” he said.

The findings of this study are part of an IMS study entitled, “The World Market for Fire Detection & Suppression Products,” done by analyst James McManus.