News and press releases

Protecting people in the historical Koukkuniemi care home
31 December 2006

Koukkuniemi care home in Tampere, Finland, was established in 1886. Today, it is the largest care home in the Nordic countries, housing nearly 1,000 elderly people

Koukkuniemi consists of eleven four to five floor apartment blocks and service buildings, connected with a 600-meter underground service tunnel.

After several fatal fires in care homes in Finland in 1999, the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK) issued instructions on how to prepare a Safety Plan for both care homes and similar risk situations, where a large number of people would seek assistance from a small number of staff in the event of an emergency. In most situations, safe evacuation cannot be guaranteed in the event of fire without the prior fitting of an automatic fire suppression system. Since then, hundreds of Finnish care homes have been fitted with fire suppression systems.

Since there was no adequate water source available in Koukkuniemi, the HI-FOG 2000 water mist system was the cost-effective choice for protecting the whole complex. The water reservoir required for the HI-FOG system was a fraction of the size that would have been necessary for a conventional sprinkler system.

Installing HI-FOG system started in the service tunnel, continuing then to the buildings, with minimal interference to the inhabitants and employees of Koukkuniemi. Smaller tube dimensions have required smaller holes to be drilled through the old walls. Typical HI-FOG features such as ‘no need for welding’, ‘less nozzles thanks to large coverage area’, and ‘aesthetically pleasing components’ have helped the Marioff team feel welcome every time they visit the site. The project will be completed around 2008.

"We are very pleased with the efficiency and quality of the HI-FOG installation so far. We have been able to continue the normal operation of the care home during the installation, and many positive remarks have been made by the residents and staff", comments Jukka Kauppinen from the City of Tampere.