Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fire Suppression Considerations for Your Data Center

Researching information on the different methods of fire suppression for data centers, I came across this article from 2006 written by Matt Stansberry of TechTarget.  He writes, "fire suppression experts determined one method is not enough to keep your facility safe and equipment functioning. You need both."

What are the options?  There's water and gas.  One of the article participants included a Florida-based automotive services company that uses clean agent gas with sprinklers as backup.  "The dry system acts a lot quicker than water. It's activated by smoke."  When constructing smart data center solutions, it would be logical to assume that gas - a clean agent - would be the most preferential choice.  Since 2006 there have been some tremendous strides in fire suppression solutions, one such company, Fenwal Protection Systems, offers a number of options specifically designed for data centers, IT facilities, telecommunications centers and switch gear rooms.   

Fenwal 9300 Series features an environmentally friendly, sustainable technology that is clean and non-toxic.  It is certified for use in occupied spaces.  It is a compound of carbon, fluorine and hydrogen in a colorless, odorless and electrically non-conductive gas.  It suppresses fires by a combination of chemical and physical mechanisms without affecting the available oxygen.  The benefit of this gas for data centers is that is its clean, leaves no residue and nearly eliminates costly after-fire clean-up.  Most materials such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and other metals as well as plastics, rubber and electronic components are unaffected by explores to FM-200.  

But just knowing you have gas versus water - or both isn't enough to protect your facilities from fires.  You need to have the right fire alarms and smoke/heat detectors.  The alarm devices themselves make a huge difference and the sensitivity is key to effectively managing a dire situation.  But that's not all companies need to worry about.

 
Training is another important factor. Making sure your network operation center and data center technicians know how to effectively manage a smoke and fire situation is key to ensuring the equipment not only stays up but is protected.  Many hardware manufacturers will also want to see their gear to ensure that it doesn't happen to others - so not over taxing it with too much water or the wrong type of fire suppression fluid or gas is key to ensuring safety in the data center not just for your gear but all others as well.

For information about Fenwal Protection Systems and to learn more about the steps you should take to protect your data center, IT equipment and more visit www.fenwalfire.com or contact info@wiredre.com for a consultation to ensure you install the right solution. 

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Harrington Group said...

Developing fire protection and suppression systems in data centers requires the expertise of a fire protection engineer or expert. This will ensure the protection of property, continuity of business and most importantly that life safety in the data center are upheld. Bringing in a fire protection engineer to design the fire safety solution in your data center is a vital step in ensuring your assets. http://www.hgi-fire.com/blog/protecting-data-centers-from-fire

9:09 AM  

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