Data Centre Fire Suppression Installation Upgrade

Facility managers have a range of factors to consider when it comes to data center fire suppression systems. The primary fire protection systems used within data centers typically include: wet pipe sprinklers, pre-action sprinklers, and special suppression (i.e., clean agent, inert gas, or mist)

 Facility managers have a range of factors to consider when it comes to data center fire suppression systems. The primary fire protection systems used within data centers typically include: wet pipe sprinklers, pre-action sprinklers, and special suppression (i.e., clean agent, inert gas, or mist).

The combination of multiple servers converting electricity into heat creates the very real risk of fire in a data centre. However, unlike other areas of your business, you cannot simply install a smoke alarm and standard sprinkler system. Imagine the damage that this would cause to your expensive equipment, the potential loss of data, and the time it would take to get your data centre up and running again.

In a data centre fire situation, you require a system that will act quickly: detecting the fire, sounding an alarm and then putting out the fire, whilst avoiding further risk to personnel and IT equipment. It will also need to satisfy the requirements of your building’s insurers. PowerContinuity Systems install the latest technology and equipment in this area to provide you with the best possible protection. For this we would carry out a site survey to enable us to recommend the best possible system to suit your needs. Below we outline two of the most commonly installed systems today.

Method 1 – Inert gas fire suppression systems for server room and Data Centres – Reduce Oxygen. This method uses Argon/Nitrogen and sometimes a small element of CO2 to displace the oxygen in the server room. … By reducing oxygen to this level it will suppress a fire.

Inert Gas Fire Suppression Systems

Upon detection of smoke and/or carbon monoxide and/or heat, an inert gas fire suppression system will rapidly fill the room with a mixture of inert gases, typically nitrogen and/or argon and possibly a small amount of carbon dioxide, to bring the oxygen levels down to around 12-15%. This has the effect of suppressing the fire whilst retaining a sufficient amount of oxygen to sustain human life. As these are naturally-occurring atmospheric gases then this is considered an environmentally-friendly option. This system also has the advantage of being able to protect multiple rooms.

For an inert gas system, sufficient space needs to be allowed for the storage of the large gas cylinders supplied with it. Bear in mind, too, that pressure relief valves have to be installed to handle the rapid increase in room pressure when the system is activated. The cost of replacing spent cylinders also needs to be taken into consideration.

Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems

There is obvious concern regarding the use of water as a fire suppressant in a data centre. However, specialised water mist suppression systems are significantly different from a typical sprinkler system. Firstly, the pipes in the ceiling are empty when the system is not in use, removing the worry of water dripping on to the equipment below; water will only enter the pipes when a fire is detected. This is known as a pre-action system. Secondly, rather than dousing the entire room with water, only the nozzles above the fire are activated. These contain tiny holes through which water is forced at high pressure, creating a fine mist that quickly works to cool the fire as it evaporates. Since a reduced amount of water is used within a localised area, the amount of water-damage to equipment and the after-fire clean-up are kept to a minimum.

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