The technology in every data center holds thousands of gigabytes of data and transfers this data throughout a large network. Keeping the devices that house the data from hazards, such as fire, is a top priority, and some helpful ways exist to maintain that protection. Read on to learn some best practices for fire protection in your data center and ensure it stays safe.
Keep the Data Center Ventilated and Cool
Overheating has a strong possibility of occurring in a data center and has a higher chance of occurring when the room has no ventilation. Install enough perforated tiles in your cold aisles and possibly aisle containment in your data center to keep the location cycling cool and warm air.
Installing hot aisle containment in exhaust aisles will be highly effective. Monitor temperature in different areas of the data center to know how hot the interior is and if you need to change settings on your air conditioners or air handlers.
Upgrade Fire Detection Devices
Every enclosed space with personnel working within will require a fire detection device, such as a smoke detector or fire alarm. Use a more complex fire detection system that uses multiple fire panels that connect throughout the building and will communicate with each other when one of the detectors senses a fire.
This system needs alarms and various detectors that will activate depending on the type of smoke detected. The source of the alarm could be from fire or rising temperatures, which have two different detectors, and each will activate a certain system to combat the situation and ensure safety, such as a sprinkler system or high-powered cooling fans.
Follow the Three Levels of Data Center Fire Protection
Data centers have three levels of fire protection that will have various needs and equipment:
- Building Level: At this level, fire safety protocols protect the building from fire. You’ll need a fire suppression system, fire extinguishers, and fire-rated floors and walls to mitigate the fire’s spread.
- Room Level: requires fire suppression and fire detection devices in all data center rooms. Both systems may use a fire suppression method that activates at the earliest sign of a fire.
- Rack Level: In rare cases you may require rack level fire detection. Although not common this may prove to be a valuable option at times.
Each fire protection level has regulations mandated by the NFPA, and following them is an essential aspect of the best practices for fire protection in a data center. Follow these regulations when installing your systems and use IT equipment with a reduced chance of breaking, such as flexible SO cables, to decrease the chance of an uncontrollable fire.
Protect your data center from fires with these best practices, and partner with PowerWhips to ensure you have the equipment you need to reduce your center’s risk for potential fire damage. Contact a member of our team today with any questions you may have, and keep your data center at maximum efficiency and safety.