This would be very costly, and would even drive some companies to ruin after a very short time. According to a study performed by the Meta Group, a ten-day outage of a key IT system can cause a company such permanent damage that it has a 50 percent chance of disappearing from the market within the next three to five years. This is why protecting IT equipment, server rooms and data centres is very important from an insurance perspective as well. IT safety and security requirements, which include fire protection, are accordingly stringent.
According to VdS data sheet VdS2837, IT centres run an increased risk of fire due to the great number of electrical components they contain, such as cables, line terminals and connections. The high energy density of the electrical systems installed in IT facilities compound the fire risk even more. Typical fire dangers in the IT sector involve smouldering fires caused short circuits or technical defects, many of which are only discovered once fire damage has already been done. Smouldering fires that are not detected early in data centres will find plenty of fuel in the plastics they contain, such as cable sheaths, circuit boards, server housings, and the like, and will spread quickly. Poorly sealed rooms can result in dangerous smoke and combustion gases escaping from the IT centre or being drawn into it.
If they use technical fire protection at all, many data centre operators use point-type smoke detectors in their fire alarm systems, along with conventional automatic extinguishing systems using CO2 as an inert gas or the chemical extinguishing gas Novec1230. Fire detection often occurs too late, and extinguishing work requires cutting power to the equipment in order to prevent re-ignition—which has far-reaching and unacceptable consequences, especially for maximum security, high-availability data centres.
In IT facilities, for example server rooms, potential fire hazards are caused by combustibles such as:
Risk factors and potential ignition sources include:
We enhanced our building’s inherent structural protection with the right high-security infrastructure. Our concept is based on avoiding hazards before they can occur. This is also associated with enormous costs. But these dangerous times are especially dangerous for data, which is why we are convinced that our customers appreciate our efforts and investments.
Sergey Mirochnik, Founder and Managing Director, DARZ GmbH
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
The combination of cutting-edge fire prevention technologies provides the Lower Saxony State Parliament’s computing centre with an ideal fire protection solution that, from a customer perspective, meets the required protection objectives in every way.
Lower Saxony State Parliament