The IWMA – discover the power of water mist

Published:  27 January, 2015

Invented over 100 years ago, water mist technology is making a name for itself as a powerful alternative fire fighting technology. Today, the International Water Mist Association is helping spread the word through a number of informative events worldwide. 

The International Water Mist Association (IWMA) was founded on 15th April 1998. In those days the organization had no office, no employees and did not organise any events. However, there was an aim, which was “to bundle what was happening on an international level and to communicate matters of common interest”, as Dirk Sprakel, long-standing vice-chairman of the IWMA, puts it.

After about two years of casual exchange of thoughts and ideas, the IWMA held its first International Water Mist Conference. This event was held in Vienna in 2001 and its aim was to introduce the organization to the world of fire fighting.

The International Water Mist Conference is an annual conference which so far has been held in cities such as London, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen and Istanbul – to name just a few. “In 2015 it will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 28th and 29th October” says Bettina McDowell, Association Secretary.

In addition to conferences the IWMA offers seminars and - again - these events are held in different places round the world. The next IWMA seminar will be held in Munich, Germany on 24th November 2015, aimed at a German, Austrian and Swiss audience.

Although the technology itself was invented over a hundred years ago by F.E. Myers, it was only after the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in the late 1980s coupled with a devastating fire on a passenger ferry in 1990 that water mist as a means of fire protection took off. The two events made it clear that there was a need for alternatives in the field of fire fighting, and thus water mist as a fire extinguishing agent was rediscovered. Eventually these processes called for the establishment of an organization.

The International Water Mist Association is - and was - of course, “the first association of its kind and is still dedicated exclusively to water mist fire-fighting and related technologies”, as it says on the IWMA’s homepage. The IWMA is based in Hamburg, Germany. From its office, which is not far from the famous Jungfernstieg, it supports the continued development, research and applications engineering of generic water mist systems.

Members of the IWMA are (amongst others) manufacturers, distributors, insurance companies, scientific institutes etc. They come from the USA, South Africa, Australia, but also from European countries such as the UK, Denmark and Italy.

Since 1998 the IWMA and its members have been committed to the technology and its further development. They have seized a number of opportunities, including a research project sponsored and organized by the IWMA on “Scaling of Fire Suppression Characteristics in Machinery Spaces”, carried out on behalf of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Today the IWMA holds a consultative status at the IMO.

Furthermore, members of the IWMA constantly demonstrate a great committment to standardization work and regularly contribute to CEN-guidelines.

For more information visit

Or contact:

Bettina McDowell

Association Secretary

International Water Mist Association

Postfach 11 35 83

20435 Hamburg

Poststraße 33 (im Hamburg Business Center)

D-20354 Hamburg

tel. + 49 (0) 40 35085-215

fax + 49 (0) 40 35085-80

mobile phone +49 (0) 174 3013878

Skype: iwma_HH33

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