Fire & Safety Protocols for Data Centers
In the previous article, we’ve discussed five things to consider when choosing a data center https://mycarrier.telkom.co.id/en/article/5-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-data-center. One of the most overlooked factors in choosing a data center is fire & safety protocols. The recent fire incident which occurred at one of the biggest data center facilities in Jakarta affected a number of established companies, including an online marketplace, a hosting provider, a game publisher, and several fintech companies. This gives a lesson of the importance of fire and safety protocols. With the holiday season approaching, data center managers should think of adequate fire and safety protocols to prevent unwanted misfortunes.
What are some good examples of an excellent fire & safety protocol for data centers? Simply put, these protocols should allow you to extinguish fire as quickly as possible so that the fire doesn’t spread to other assets or other rooms, let alone other buildings. In other words, these protocols should allow you to prioritize the safety of employees and assets in the data center. If you haven’t come up with a plan for fire and safety protocols in your data centers, here are several factors that you can take into account to prevent fire hazards.
Fire Suppression Systems
No fire and safety protocols are complete without the installation of fire suppression systems. Data centers require specific equipment that surpass the adequacy of the common ones. The sprinklers, for example, should be dry-type sprinklers that do use water, as leaking water could damage the IT equipment. Some would also opt for gas-based clean agent fire suppression systems. Some of these systems are even eco-friendly and non-toxic, making it safe for not only the employees but also the environment.
Fire-Resistant Building Construction
In addition to installing fire suppression equipment, the data center building construction should also be planned to suppress the spread of fire. According to Vanguard-fire.com, the building construction should protect the structure and the people at three levels: building, room, and rack. Fire-resistant materials should also be used in openings so that smoke passage and fire spread can be obstructed. The use of noncombustible materials at the building level can also result in literal firewalls that make it longer for fire to spread.
Regular Hazard Inspection
Make sure that you inspect your equipment and fire-suppressing systems regularly. You should check for grease and rust, which can lower the efficiency of your fire-suppressing equipment. You should also check whether your fire extinguishers are rechargeable or disposable. The chemicals in disposable extinguishers will expire in the span of 12 years, and the extinguisher should be disposed of in a safe way if expired, since the chemicals can cause explosions. Fire sprinkler heads also need to be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, the sprinklers can malfunction.
Emergency Switch Installation
You might want to consider installing emergency switches for fire scenarios. An emergency switch can help you in so many ways in case fire occurs. For instance, you can install a switch that turns off all electrical equipment and devices when fire happens, which can significantly delay the spread of fire by short circuiting. You can also set emergency switches to delay the fire suppression system in case of a false alarm. Fire cases can also involve a lot of smoke, so the emergency switch can also be connected to strobe lights which can help employees evacuate easily in low visibility.
Although frequently overlooked, fire & safety protocols should be kept in mind when maintaining a data center. A fire incident not only leads to a long amount of downtime (that causes significant loss), but also jeopardizes the safety of employees that work in a data center. With a lot of electrical devices and power management in a data center, the environment can build up heat and currents, which increase the risk of fire.
In realizing the commitment to provide the best service and maintain the safety culture, all neuCentrIX data center facilities were specifically designed for high reliability and availability and, therefore, are completed with thorough risk management protocols and policies to comply with mitigation plans. In addition, several neuCentrIX data centers have received the ANSI/TIA-942 Design Certification Tier 3 from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which means our data centers implement standard fire protection and detection equipment which cover various details including automatic fire protection systems, automatic detection systems, and portable extinguishers and hose lines.
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