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Fire safety down to the rack – do you have a fire suppression system in place?

Yes, fires are rare at a data center. But that does not mean that they do not occur and you certainly don’t want to be caught off guard if they do.

Data from Uptime Institute says that though one or two of the fires have led to some destruction of equipment and data, most have been small, with minimal long-term disruption.

Still, disruption means downtime. And the downtime from a fire incident averages 17.5 hours due to fire incidents. So, it’s important that you have your fire suppression systems in place.

Fires in data centers can be caused by many factors from short-circuits and wiring and equipment overheating to electric overloads; from faults in the digital equipment to cables, raised floors, suspended ceilings, and HVAC equipment; from lack of surveillance and maintenance to sabotage and staff negligence. Faults in uninterruptible power supplies can create heat and smoke, and if there are batteries nearby, they can catch fire and will burn until the fuel is consumed — which can take some time.

That’s where a fire suppression system can help.

A fire suppression system is a group of units with built-in components to detect fires. It can be through heat, smoke, or any other such warning signals. These are attached to an alarm system that will alert you when the fire has been detected and initiate steps for action to suppress the fire.

Fire suppression systems are designed to detect a fire as soon as it starts and quash it immediately to prevent the fire from spreading to other areas. If the system detects heat or fire, the system sets off suppressing it.

There are two types of fire suppression systems — engineered and pre-engineered. Engineered fire suppression systems work by flooding the room with gases that can suppress the fire without harming the people or equipment in the data center. Pre-engineered fire suppression systems protect the micro-environment — engine compartments, electrical panels, etc.

The end goal of both systems is the same – to stop the fire as soon as possible and prevent it from causing too much damage.

Hardy Racks delivers servers and network racks of the highest quality. Among the various products provided is the “secure data center”, which are racks equipped with a fire suppression system. At Hardy Racks, we believe in safety first, so do get in touch with us for a custom-based solution for your data center.


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