Fire Alarm Systems - Server Rooms

19th June 2017

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Server rooms are typically used to store, power and operate computer components, as well as other associated equipment. As power in server rooms is continually on, air conditioning is often used to prevent systems from overheating.

Macro Infinity Technology Server Room Fire

In early April 2017, a fire broke out in the server room of the Macro Infinity Technology building at around 8pm. A broken air conditioning unit was the cause; due to the loss of cool air, room temperatures rose and it became impossible to cool equipment which led to fire breaking out due to overheating.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported. However, over $10,000 (£7900) of damage was caused and servers were no longer in operation.

What are the Fire Risks Associated with Server Rooms?

There are multiple risks associated with server rooms, for example:

  • Overheating
    If cooling systems fail, servers have a higher chance of overheating and causing fire.
  • Electrical Failure
    Short circuiting equipment or overloaded components such as switches heightens the risk of fire as it puts electrical strain on systems.
  • Fire Breakout in Other Areas of the Building
    Server rooms become very vulnerable when a fire breaks out in other areas of the building as ceiling and wall cable penetrations can cause fire to spread.
  • Malfunctioning Wiring in the Subfloor
    Faulty wiring in the subfloor can cause sparks and, therefore, ignite flammable materials.

What are the Solutions?

In order to lower the risk of fire, there are a number of solutions you could implement, such as:

  • Ensure Server Rooms are Clean
    Keeping server rooms clean is very important in preventing fire as dust can settle on equipment and combustible materials left openly around the room can help fuel and intensify a blaze.
  • Carry Out a Risk Assessment
    One of the most important steps to take in order to lower the risk of fire is to carry out a risk assessment. This will allow you to identify any risks or fire hazards and evaluate how you can reduce or remove them.
  • Make Sure Air Conditioning Units are Working Effectively
    Ensuring the server room is kept cool is an essential part in minimising the risk of fire as it helps keeps equipment cool and lowers the likeliness of it overheating.

The Importance of a Reliable Fire System in Server Rooms

As server rooms store mass amounts of data and are commonly located in public environments, it is crucial that an effective and reliable fire detection system is in place. This is also important in saving customer relationships as they will most likely be infuriated if their website is to crash, systems do not respond or they lose valuable data.

What are the Most Common Systems Used in Server Rooms?

Aspirating smoke detection has the ability to actively draw air from a protected area, meaning it can overcome many obstacles such as high ceilings, obstacles and large areas. Therefore, aspirating smoke detection can provide an accurate and effective fire detection solution for server rooms.

Eurofyre Aspirating Smoke Detection

Eurofyre are specialist suppliers of fire detection systems and equipment that can cater for any application. We have over 10 years of experience working with aspirating smoke detection and pride ourselves on being a complete system supplier. We provide exceptional customer support throughout the entire manufacturing, supplying and commissioning process.

Eurofyre offer a range of aspirating smoke detection systems including Xtralis, VESDA-E and the ICAM range. Eurofyre’s range of aspirating smoke detection offers a very early warning of fire and allows alarms to be contained and investigated with minimal interruption to businesses, meaning action can be taken before a fire spreads out of control.

Eurofyre have a number of fire detection systems that can be used to in server rooms, the most effective being the EF-FT15 and EF-FTP Aspirating Smoke Detectors.

EF-FT15

EF-FT15

The EF-FT15 is a 15 pipe, high sensitivity air sampling smoke detection system that is capable of sampling up to 15 individual cabinets or areas simultaneously. The system uses unobtrusive 6mm microbe tubing to carry smoke to the detector in order to enhance installation time.

In comparison to conventional air sampling pipes, the EF-FT15 uses a vacuum pump to draw air from the protected areas. The dynamic range of internal laser detectors allows the system to be configured for use in a wide range of environments, at various levels of sensitivity.

EF-FTP

EF-FTP

The EF-FTP Pico aspirating smoke detector is an air sampling smoke detector with an alarm sensitivity range of 0.001% to 20% obscuration/m.The EF-FTP provides a very early warning of smoke detection and can detect fire at an initial stage at low and high concentrations of smoke over an area of up to 2,000m2.

The Pico detector draws air through sample holes in a pipe network and then filters and analyses the sample in its laser detection chamber.


To find out more about any of Eurofyre’s fire detection systems feel free to contact Eurofyre on +44 (0)1329 835024 or by email to info@eurofyre.co.uk. For all the latest fire protection news sign up to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of your screen or follow us online on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ or sign up to our newsletter (in the footer below) to receive all the latest information from Eurofyre.

Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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