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Fire Suppression

Published by Jason Koffler on 05 March 2017

Fire Suppression systems must be designed, implemented and maintained on principles which ensure the smooth operation of your Fire Suppression system 24×7.

Aspects of Fire Suppression which are key to the smooth operation of Fire Suppression include the following:

- Cylinder storage space requirements for installation and maintenance.
- Room Infrastructure, ensuring the enclosure is suitable for the fire suppression agent, taking into account the floor void, room and ceiling void.
- Safety to occupants, using our BAFE SP203 Part 3 and BSI certified quality management procedures, to ensure the Fire Suppression can carryout its tasks without it leaking into neighboring spaces before the fire is out.
– Environmentally friendly systems; correct designs prevent unnecessarily system discharges and the latest solutions are based on inert gases.
- Accurate and reliable smoke detection using the VESDA air sampling technology.
- Sustainable fire suppression technology, ensuring users are well informed about what they are installing.
- In life management and room pressure tests help to ensure your infrastructure is protected 24×7.

Further more when it comes to a Fire Suppression system its worth while considering the following as part of the Critical Infrastructure audit to help minimize the impact of an incident.

- An Emergency Power Off function If there is a fire, the EPO will drop power to the room hard. Yes, that’ll cause data damage, but so does fire. If the fire is electrical in nature, this may help to stop it or its spread. Also, if all the gear is de-powered, a water dump does less damage.

- A sealed room You want sealed for correct HVAC anyway. You don’t want to rely on building HVAC unless the building was designed with that room in mind in the first place. Also, this allows you to use…

- A gas-based suppression system using FM200 is popular choice for this however its worth while remembering its environmental life is 33 years so an inert gas system is better. Unlike the halon systems of old, inert gas are environmentally friendly. A water based backup suppression system If the FM-200 fails, you need to get the fire out. After the EPO has fired, and the FM-200 dumps, if there is still a fire then you need old fashioned water.

- Water detection sensors in/on the floor If you have any water pipes overhead, you need water sensors in the floor along its perimeter and other noted areas. This is more of an asset-protection best practice action, but if you DO have sprinklers you need water sensors to detect leaks. Also good for detecting leaks in your HVAC chillers.

- Call-out capabilities If the fire system trips, you want to notify both Facilities people, as well as data-center staff and management. Obviously, this system should NOT rely upon assets in the data-center that’s on fire. This can be hard.

Concerning Water.

Consider a UPS battery explosion. All those lead-acid batteries can leak hydrogen when they vent and while hydrogen detection systems can detect and initiate a force fan to remove the contaminated air, if the power is off there will be no forced ventilation. Your nice sealed room? Not so sealed anymore should an explosion occur. When the FM-200 or Inert Gas dumps, it does very little because the room isn’t sealed. So that fire that started? if its not contained and being put out will start to destroy other areas of the building it’s a life-safety issue and needs to be audited regularly to ensure it still fits your requirements.

Finally, Emergency Power Off (EPO) can be a destructive option but when you need the power dropped fast this is the best way and the one closet to any exit door.

It’s worth while remembering that any FM200 or other harmful fire suppression gas can be recycled and made safe, and while Gas Containers may go out of date if yours have? consider replacing them with a new safer inert gas rather then just exchanging them.