Fire suppression for data centres

White Server Cabinets inside Bright and Clean Large Data Cente

Data centres are the backbone of modern businesses, housing critical information and infrastructure vital for operations. With the increasing reliance on data centres, an effective fire suppression system is crucial to their security. DEM Fire tailors fire suppression solutions to meet their unique needs, and our expertise continues long after installation with regularly scheduled inspections and compliance checks.

Male Technician Checking Fire Panel In Datacenter

Auditing and understanding the risks

Data centres house valuable equipment, including servers, networking devices, and storage systems, all susceptible to fire-related damage. The potential consequences of a fire in a data centre extend beyond equipment loss; it can result in data loss, downtime, and even financial repercussions. Understanding these risks is the first step in designing an effective fire suppression system.

Early detection is critical for minimising fire damage. Data centres typically employ sophisticated fire detection systems, including smoke detectors, heat sensors, and flame detectors. These systems continuously monitor environmental conditions and trigger alerts at the first sign of smoke or elevated temperatures.

When a fire is detected, a rapid and effective response is essential. Data centres require specialised suppression agents that can extinguish fires quickly without causing harm to sensitive equipment or data. Common suppression agents used in data centres include clean agents like FM-200 and Novec 1230, which are electrically non-conductive and leave no residue upon discharge. While FM-200 is currently being phased down, several successful alternatives are available. These alternatives are typically chosen based on factors such as environmental concerns, safety and the specific needs of the protected space.

Data center facility

Fire suppression delivery systems

The infrastructure for delivering suppression agents throughout the data centre plays a crucial role in system effectiveness. This includes piping, nozzles, and valves designed to distribute the agent evenly and efficiently across the facility. The layout and design of these delivery systems should account for the unique layout and airflow patterns within the data centre to ensure thorough coverage.

As most data centres operate 24/7, 365 days a year, reliability is a top priority. A robust fire suppression system should incorporate redundancy at every level to ensure uninterrupted protection. This includes redundant detection systems, multiple suppression agents, and redundant power sources to guarantee system operation even during power outages or equipment failures.

Integrating other building systems for optimal fire suppression system performance is a crucial design element. This includes coordination with HVAC systems to prevent airflow from spreading smoke or fire and integration with building management systems for centralised monitoring and control.

Compliance and Regulations

Data centre operators must adhere to guidelines set forth by municipal councils and Fire and Rescue NSW. A key strength of the DEM Fire business is our comprehensive fire compliance and regulatory expertise. As part of our 360-degree fire and essential services model, DEM Fire technicians are qualified to conduct regular inspections and testing to maintain compliance and training of DC staff members on the operation of the fire suppression system.

Our technical team conducts regular maintenance, including equipment inspection, testing detection systems, and refilling suppression agents, keeping the system in optimal condition.

Designing and installing a robust fire suppression system for data centres requires careful planning and consideration of various infrastructure elements. From early detection systems to delivery mechanisms and integration with building systems, every aspect plays a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of the facility. By implementing a comprehensive fire suppression system and adhering to industry standards, data centre operators can mitigate the risk of fire-related incidents and protect their assets.

DEM Fire has extensive expertise and experience in designing and installing fire suppression systems for data centres. Our professional technical team takes a forward-thinking approach, focusing on long-term planning and strategic vision to future-proof fire protection and maintain the highest standards of compliance.

Contact us today for expert advice on the fire protection of your data centre facility.

Contact DEM Fire & Essential Services Group

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