Stopping Data Center Fires

One might think that the biggest threat to a data center is a security breach. In reality, elemental incidents pose as the biggest threats. Fire smoke, in fact, is considered the greatest threat to both employees and data. Security measurements like fire-suppression systems, means of egress, fire containment, and fire-alarm systems are vital investments every data center owner needs to pursue.

Fire Suppression

Fire-suppression systems come in four types:

  • Water-based wet
  • Water-based dry
  • Non-water-based wet
  • Non-water-based dry

A water-based wet system uses pressurized water through iron pipes. A water-based dry system does the same thing except pipes are kept empty to avoid freezing.

Non-water-based systems use chemicals. Non-water-based wet systems use foam and gels to suppress grease, oil, and electrical fires. Non-water-based dry systems may intentionally leave sticky residues to help douse embers. Systems that don’t leave residue are promoted as “clean agents.

Means of Egress

Means of egress are paths to safely escape a burning building. Methods include:

  • Fire-rated walls
  • Fire-rated stairs
  • Fire-rated floor/ceiling assemblies
  • Backlit exit signs
  • Flashing strobes
  • Emergency lighting

Fire Containment

To ensure your data and employee’s safety, fire containment is a key part of prevention. Fire containment stops the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building by using fire-rated barriers at major locations. These barriers include:

  • Fire-rated doors
  • Fire-rated floor/ceiling assemblies
  • Fire-rated opening protectives such as fire-alarm-released window shutters and overhead doors
  • Fire-rated walls (should be employed at most stair, corridor, and interior tenant-separation walls, and some exterior and interior walls)

Fire-Alarm Systems

Fire-alarm systems are the most obvious part of fire-prevention, but data centers need to keep in mind that their alarms cannot connect to other alarm systems such as security and energy management. Fire-alarm systems should consist of both sound and lights for hearing-impaired employees.

How safe is your data center from fires? Contact LDP Associates Inc. for data center cooling solutions, power accessories, and design needs.

2018-08-21T10:23:42+00:00 June 25th, 2018|Blog, Information|