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Data Center Fire Protection

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Fire suppression in data centers can be tricky.  You need a fast-acting, thorough solution, but you also need to protect expensive, fragile assets.  That is where clean agent systems come in.

Clean agent systems and inert gas are generally used to suppress fires in data centers.  A fire is made from three elements:  heat source, oxygen, and fuel.  Both the clean agent and inert gas remove one element of the fire triangle.  Clean agents remove the heat source.  Inert gas removes the oxygen.

If the fire suppression system is designed and installed properly, it will suppress the fire before any critical equipment is destroyed.

Which fire suppression system is best for your data center?

 

It depends on a number of elements.

 

Do you have extra space?

 

Inert gas may work well for your facility.  It takes higher concentrations of gas to extinguish a fire than a halocarbon or other clean agent system.  Because more inert gas is needed, more space for storing it is needed.  FM-200 is a type of clean agent inert gas that is clear and doesn’t leave behind residue to clean up.  It is often used in data centers along with VESDA (very early smoke detection apparatus) fire alarm systems.  This type of fire alarm system detects smoke early by sampling the air.

 

Is your space enclosed?

 

Inert gas and clean agent systems need to be in an enclosed space.  They both need to be at a specific concentration to work correctly.  Additionally, inert gas can be dangerous for humans because it depletes oxygen.  If the space is not enclosed, you might want to consider a water-based system.

 

Is a pre-action system a better choice?

 

Pre-action systems work well for data centers, server rooms, and computer rooms.  The system requires the fire detection to alert before the fire sprinkler will activate.  There are three different types of pre-action systems.

Non-interlock - A valve is activated by a detection system or heat-responsive sprinkler and water floods the piping system.

Single-interlock - A fire detector initiates the deluge valve, introducing water into the piping system.  A sprinkler fuse will then signal the sprinkler to activate.

Double-Interlock - Water is introduced into the sprinkler piping only after a fire alarm initiates and the sprinkler fuse signals.


Pre-action systems aren’t ideal for all situations.  They have pre-defined size restrictions.  Any future changes that need to be made will have to be done along with the detection system since they work together.

 

To find the best fire suppression option for your data center fill out the form below and our fire suppression specialist will be in touch.