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Fire Protection For Mission Critical Data Centers

If you are a facility manager of a data center or other critical facility with valuable electronic assets, you need to have appropriate fire protection systems in place to ensure the best protection of your mission critical units.


In the mission critical industry, about 60% of small fires get handled by facility personnel rather than get reported to authorities in critical facilities. This percentage is so high because fire incidents are kept confidential to protect the reputation of a data center or other critical facility. Often structure fires in the mission critical industry are associated with exposure to combustion and faulty wiring installation.


Since electronic fires are common in critical facilities, critical facility designers need to create the best combination of fire alarm and fire protection/suppression systems for the specified facility environment and occupancy.


Here are some variables that will need addressing:



  • Facility Occupancy.

  • Equipment protection and variables.

  • Raised floors and drop ceiling plenum usage.

  • Electrical load density.

  • Availability/ response of local fire brigade.

  • Cold and hot isle containments.

All fire protection system designs should meet local building codes while address unique facility needs. The goal is to best protect your data center valuable assets and bring any potential down-time of facility operation to the minimum.


Your fire system may need to accommodate a high density environment by creating firestops to strengthen aisle containment or shutting down power and mechanical cooling during emergency events.


Critical facilities need both fire detection and fire suppression systems. The best fire suppression systems for critical facilities are clean agents and agents using water.


Clean agent systems can help your critical facility combat fire by reducing the oxygen content of the environment, absorbing the heat of the flame, and preventing chemistry combustion.


The smoke and fire detectors can provide you the first warning of a fire being present in your critical facility. This includes sounding an alarm, shutting down air handles, and disconnecting power from the protected equipment.


Using Novec1230 system 

is one of the best non-water based agents because it doesn’t damage electronic equipment, has no residue, and the gas escapes to the atmosphere after the fire is extinguished.


If the critical environment is an occupied space, use FM-200 instead. It’s environmentally friendly with its capability to prevent ozone depletion, prevents damage of sensitive electronic equipment, and has no residue and safe for occupancy.

As for Water Based Systems, such as fire sprinklers, you can choose from wet system piping (filled with water) or dry systems that introduce water to the environment in a variety of ways.

Here are two of many options available from water-based solutions:


The Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems is one of the most reliable sprinkler protection systems because the systems have no delays and they are very economically sound with a limit of 52,000 sq ft per system.


The Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems is best for non-heated buildings that could expose pipes to freezing temperatures. The dry pipe systems feature pressurized air or nitrogen gas and fusible link sprinkler heads. When the sprinkler heads are operated, an air pressure drop occurs in the system that opens a clapper on the dry pipe valve. Once the clapper is open, water will flow through the dry pipe sprinkler system and discharge from the open sprinkler heads.


Learn more about clean agent and water based fire protection systems here.


Fireline can design, furnish and install all types of fire sprinkler systems, fire alarms, emergency exit lights and fire safety equipment. Learn about our fire protection systems by clicking here.


We are a Maryland corporation founded in 1947 by John S. Waters. Fireline remains a pioneer in the fledgling fire equipment distribution business and we have grown to encompass all facets of fire protection. We can design, install, inspect, or service any type of fire protection system. From fire alarm to fire extinguisher, we do it all.


If you have any questions about Sprinklers, extinguishers, fire equipment, or other Fireline products and services, contact Fireline by calling 410.247.1422 or click here today!


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 3:21 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.