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Data Center Fires: How Rare are they?

Data Center Fires

Recently, a facility manager made a comment stating that fires in data centers are rare. In response to these naïve comments, Onward and Upward decided to highlight three recent data center fires to show that these fires do happen more often than some may believe. This is to show those who work in these centers that data center fires do occur, and preparation is essential to help keep everyone safe.

  1. February 18th, 2014- This is the first example of data center fires highlighted by Onward and Upward. In this case, a failed transient-voltage surge suppressor located in the basement of the Hoover State Office Building caused damage and smoke. While the TVSS was unused at the time, it was still fully powered. When the TVSS failed, an employee was able to activate a release station manually, which then activated about 2,400 pounds of “FM-200 clean fire-suppressing agent” to be discharged on the basement level along with the floor above the data center. Once this was trigged, power to equipment was shut off by an emergency circuit. Due to the fire sprinkler and alarm system installed within the center, the fire was extinguished by the time local fire authorities arrived on the scene.
  2. March 19th, 2014- In the case of an Iowa data center fire, a capacitor failed within a cabinet of a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). This failure caused smoke to pour into the enclosed area. A fire suppression system was in place at the time of the fire, which then released close to 385 pounds of the clean agent. Upon the arrival of local fire authorities, the fire had been extinguished, leaving the building unharmed. However, it took nearly two days to locate the malfunctioned portion within the larger unit.
  3. September 18th, 2014- Within a data room in Des Moines, a malfunctioning coil to an air conditioning system became overheated, causing a fire that was fed by paper filaments and dust surrounding the coil. Two separate smoke detecting systems sensed the fire, releasing nearly 275 pounds of the clean agent to extinguish the flame.

At Fireline, we offer an array of portable fire extinguishers and fire alarm systems to keep data centers and other commercial buildings safe. Fireline offers the highest quality alarm systems to keep your home and business safe from fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. We also offer fire suppression systems as well to help keep data center fires controlled should they break out.

To get started with Fireline today, call us at 1-800-553-3405, or visit our contact page.

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 2:47 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.