Automist works in conjunction with the (separate) smoke detection in your property to keep you safe from a variety of types of fire. Where the escape route can be compromised by fire because it's not fully separated from living areas, people in the property will be warned of fires by smoke detection. Where these are small and slow-growing, detection should be adequate to get you out in time. Faster growing fires pose a larger challenge however, and smoke detection isn't enough: such situations require a suppression system like Automist to "buy time" for people escaping from the property. Approved Document B recommends that in three storey houses that don't have an enclosed staircase, the fire door between ground and first will help keep the first floor landing free from smoke so that the first floor escape windows remain usable, whether the fire is small or large.
Removing this fire door cannot be done casually, but in some projects, removal can be justified with a fire engineering approach, provided that other measures are put in place to compensate. Some fire engineers argue that the fire door in question will usually be propped open, as was found in NHBC Foundation Report NF19. If so, it will be largely ineffective and will not block smoke until it is manually closed. In this eventuality, a property that followed the standard layout could have been rendered much safer with earlier detection, achieved by installing interlinked smoke detectors in all habitable areas rather than just corridors. These engineers will therefore often make the argument that enhanced detection is a suitable alternative to this fire door in many projects. However such arguments must be made on a case by case basis, perhaps supported by a fire engineering policy decision within your building control organisation, or by a formal fire engineer's report.