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Fire prevention in the data centre

Fire risks and fire prevention requirements in data centres

Data centre operators’ number-one priority is to ensure maximum continuous availability of data and computing capacity—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Modern work, business and communications are all dependent on digitally stored information and data. If this data is not available, business processes immediately come to a standstill, which not only greatly damages a company’s image, but also causes major financial losses that can weaken a business permanently. So it is essential to both data centres and their customers that servers be available at all times. Reliable fire protection can help data centres uphold this standard.

The risk of fire in data centres is primarily due to the heat IT racks produce and the high energy density of the electrical equipment installed. Most data centre fires are caused by technical defects in electrical equipment, which require an appropriate fire protection solution.

For most data centre and server room operators, however, potential fires are not the main issue. What they want to avoid at all costs is having to cut power to equipment and thus interrupt IT processes. This is because these data centres usually have contractual agreements with their customers regarding continuous availability of computing capacity and stored data, which also involves liability risks. Customers are dependent on digitally stored information, so no data centre can afford downtime. As such, data centre safety and fire-protection measures are focused on preventing any type of operational downtime, especially cutting power to the data centre—even in the event of a fire. At the same time, it is important that security and fire protection systems be as efficient as possible, in order to keep operating costs down.

Fire protection solutions for data centres

Early fire detection with TITANUS® air sampling smoke detectors

Data centres’ high densities of electric and electronic components can result in cable short circuits and smouldering fires. As a result of the rapid air circulation in these highly climate-controlled rooms, smouldering fires frequently go undetected, and may even develop for several days unnoticed. WAGNER developed its first aspirating smoke detection system specifically designed for data centre requirements as early as 1984.

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Advantages

  • No power shutoff
    Active fire prevention from WAGNER makes it unnecessary to cut the power.
  • Safeguarding
    Constant availability of computing capacity and data thanks to preventative fire protection.
  • No extinguishing damage
    Sound pressure protection when extinguishing in the computing centre protects noise-sensitive hardware from vibrations and damage.
  • Award-winner
    WAGNER’s innovative fire protection systems have received the German Data Centre Award on several occasions.
  • Economical
    Energy-saving early fire detection and efficient gas extinguishing technology provide protection in emergencies.

Reference projects

DARZ GmbH, Darmstadt (Germany): Germany’s highest standard of structural security

We placed great importance on maximising the efficiency of all individual data centre infrastructure components, and on ensuring that the overall system could be controlled in an energy-efficient way. With the help of strong partners, we were thus able to construct one of the most environmentally friendly data centres in Europe.

Sergey Mirochnik, Founder and Managing Director, DARZ GmbH

to Application Report

noris network AG, Nuremberg (Germany): High-availability facilities and redundant security systems

We were completely convinced by the combination of early fire detection, pressure-reducing (and thus safer) oxygen reduction, and subsequent inerting with OxyReduct® to bridge the time gap until the extinguishing cylinders are refilled.

Ingo Kraupa, Chairman, noris network AG

to Application Report

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