You might not realize it, but there are significant fire hazards in data centers and server rooms. Damages caused by fire can total in the millions but there are other serious costs. Fires can lead to a loss of critical data that can’t be recovered and business interruption can be equally costly. Therefore, it’s critical to properly protect data centers and server rooms with the proper fire suppression and detection systems. Fires in data centers occur more often than commonly assumed. In fact, a major data center in France suffered a catastrophic fire in early March, causing a major interruption of service. Preventing fires is always preferable to dealing with the aftermath. Read on to learn exactly how to prevent fire issues in data centers and server rooms.
Start with a Professional Risk Assessment
The first step in data center fire prevention is having a professional fire risk assessment. Fire protection professionals are well-versed in fire codes and systems requirements for mission-critical facilities. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment, covers the requirements for the protection of information technology equipment and information technology areas from damage by fire or its associated effects–smoke, corrosion, heat, and water. If you are building or operate a data center or server room a fire risk assessment should be a part of your design or operating procedures.
Employ the Proper Fire Suppression System
Water can do as much damage to your equipment as the fire itself. Clean agent fire suppression systems limit the amount of damage to computer equipment and require little or no clean-up after discharge. These systems are discharged as a gas. They respond and suppress fires quickly and cleanly and can extinguish fires inside enclosed equipment. They are used in conjunction with pre-action sprinkler systems (a type of dry pipe system) and activate long before sprinklers, thus avoiding water damage. Water mist and hybrid water mist systems are also a good choice as they use 75%-90% less water than sprinkler systems. All of these systems should be paired with an early warning smoke detection system, known as VESDA. Professional fire protection companies like Fireline can help you determine the best application for your facility.
Keep Your Server Rooms Well-Maintained and Clean
Cleaning or maintaining your server room is not just a matter of organization, it can help prevent fires from starting. Never use your server room or computer room as a storage closet, especially for any combustibles, such as empty cardboard boxes. Keep the room clean, including the raised floor areas, which are particularly susceptible to dusty and dirty conditions. Properly maintain all electrical and air handling equipment and make sure you have the correct number and type of portable fire extinguishers. Good housekeeping practices are key to preventing fires.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.