The HI-FOG system provides more effective protection in terms of containing fires and is far less damaging to art and artifacts. Sensitive to the environment, the system uses up to 90 percent less water than a conventional sprinkler system and uses smaller, less obtrusive, stainless steel pipes to enhance aesthetics and offers an additional benefit of being rated for a longer service period.
The Monticello house and its visitors are now protected from fire while the historical artifacts inside are protected from the water damage caused by conventional sprinklers. A HI-FOG gas pump unit (GPU) serves as the central component of a self-contained system that does not need external power for operation and comes equipped with its own water source. Small water tanks containing potable water coupled with compressed gas cylinders used to power the system are hidden within Monticello and custom painted, precision machined sprinkler heads are discretely deployed in each room.
Marioff's HI-FOG system has been used to protect a wide variety of cultural heritage buildings including Garrett Hall at the University of Virginia. The system has also been used to preserve presidential sites for future generations including three other U.S. presidential homes.
"Monticello is an architectural treasure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a symbol of Jefferson's enlightenment ideals. Upgrading this fire suppression system is just another way to protect Monticello for future generations," said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation."Marioff is honored to be entrusted with protecting Monticello, a prestigious National Historic Landmark," said James McGuinness, director, marketing, Marioff North America. "The benefits of the HI-FOG system — low water usage, compact components and long system lifetime— provide a sustainable solution for this cultural heritage treasure." Funding for the cost of the new fire protection system was made possible by the support of the Roller-Bottimore Foundation, the Thomas F. Jeffress Memorial Trust, and individual donors. Images of Monticello:
- Monticello Entrance Hall: © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, photograph by Robert Lautman
- Monticello Cabinet: © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, photograph by Robert C. Lautman
- Monticello West Front: © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, photograph by Mary Porter