Virtually almost all commercial and industrial premises have panels and cabinets installed inside dedicated rooms. An unprecedented fire by most common sources like loose connections, overloaded circuits, equipment failure, fatigued electrical wiring, improper installations, etc. in these enclosed panels, mounted with high-risk machines and vital equipment, can cause heavy downtime and huge commercial impacts. 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.
An ideal suppression solution shall be installed for the panels as well as unmanned rooms where manual intervention at early stages of fire is not possible. An automatically operating suppression system is best suited for early detection and suppression without causing any collateral damage to the delicate equipment.
Start with a Facility Risk Assessment
The first step in data center fire prevention is to carry out a fire risk assessment. Fire service authorities are well versed with the NBC codes, guidelines, and fire systems requirements for critical facilities. NBC 2016 Part IV, NFPA 75 (standard for the fire protection of Information Technology Equipment) covers the requirements for the protection of information technology equipment facilities.
Commission Proper Fire Suppression Systems
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. These systems shall be paired with an early warning smoke detection system. The best solutions and systems can be the integrated systems that detect and suppress the fire at the early stages.
Keeping the Hub / Switch / Server Rooms well maintained and clean.
Cleaning or maintaining the server/switch/computer room can help prevent fires from starting. These rooms are not for storage of electronic wastes, or any combustibles, such as empty cardboard boxes. Always keep the rooms clean and free of any unwanted materials. The raised floor area and openable cable ducts, which are particularly susceptible to dusty and dirty conditions shall be properly cleaned. Electrical maintenance and HVAC equipment shall be regularly and properly maintained. Make sure all the facilities have the correct number and type of portable fire extinguishers.
Preventing fires is always preferable to dealing with the aftermath.