Server rooms are the heart of a company’s information structure. They are extremely critical assets because the loss of data can be devastating and one of the most important objectives of a company is business continuity.

The constant presence of the ignition source (electricity) and combustible material put at stake people’s life and costly business critical assets. About 6% of infrastructure failures in data centers are related to fire 1. The average loss for a data center due to downtime is approx.  $7,300 per minute or $609,500 for one downtime event, 2. Using the wrong fire safety concept might lead to a higher financial damage than a fire itself can cause.

Highly sensitive fire detectors are able to detect even the lowest smoke concentrations which may be caused by a malfunction of an electric or electronic element, for example. In the event of a fire, the fire protection system needs to react reliably and appropriately, triggering a coordinated alarm which leads people out of the danger area and activates extinguishing systems. An automated extinguishing system can provide optimal protection for sensitive electronic equipment – with specially designed nozzles not impacting on computer hard disk drives and keep people safe, environmentally friendly extinguishing agents.

Millions of servers worldwide process ever- increasing quantities of data throughout a global network of several billion devices.  Losing data can be devastating for company’s ‒ the potential consequences range from losing money and damage to their reputations to having to close down.

To keep up the unlimited availability of data is most important and in the event of a fire, the damage needs to be kept to an absolute minimum. Thus, keeping a data center safe from fire means ensuring business continuity.

Server rooms in which IT infrastructure is housed, have to comply with a higher security standard. They are designed in such a way:

  • That only authorized personnel can access the room, which prevents vandalism.
  • That the room is a separate fire zone and therefore there is no direct risk of fire from neighboring area.
  • That the room is air-conditioned according to system requirements.
  • That the central systems are connected to an emergency power supply.

Depending on the size of the server room, resp. data center, different fire safety concepts are applicable. The concept with the corresponding response procedures must always be defined in cooperation with the experts responsible for the data center.

Nnaemeka Nweke

Nnaemeka Nweke

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