Since data centers face a significant risk of fire, they typically have sophisticated fire suppression systems. There are basically two types of systems: gas-based systems and water-based systems. The data center relies on more than just fire suppression systems, however, as controls. Other fire suppression controls include
Proper handling and storage of hazardous materials
For over 30
Fire-rated walls and doors to prevent fire from moving from one area of a building to another
Firestops where fire-rated walls or floor assemblies are sealed to prevent the spread of fire
Standpipe fire hose systems to provide a ready supply of water for fire suppression
The absence of these features introduces the risk of a fire spreading more quickly and
In auditing fire suppression, the
Hazardous and highly flammable materials are a common cause of fire. These materials include
Diesel and other fuels
Solvents and thinners
Propane or acetylene torches
Chlorine or ammonia-based chemicals
Glues and bonding
These materials should be handled and stored in a proper manner to mitigate the risk of fire or spillage.
Fire extinguishers are often the first line of fire defense. In data centers, they should be placed in hallways and
During the course of the data center audit, the auditor should review the locations of fire extinguishers, as well as a sample of the attached service tags. The data center facility manager also should be able to supply maintenance records.
All data centers should have a fire suppression system to help contain fires. There are two common types of systems: gas-based systems and water-based systems. Modern fire suppression systems most often are multistage, where the first sensor (usually a smoke sensor) activates the system, and a second sensor (usually a heat sensor) causes a
There are several varieties of gas-based fire suppression systems, including CO
FM-200, CEA-410, and others. Gas-based systems are more expensive and often
Water-based systems are less expensive and more common but can cause damage to computer equipment. To mitigate the risk of
Wet pipe. Pipes are always filled with water.
Dry pipe. Pipes are filled with air and are filled with water at the time of a discharge.
Preaction. Pipes are filled at stage 1 activation, and water is discharged during stage 2.
Deluge. A type of dry pipe system that discharges a large amount of water to overwhelm a fire.
The absence of a fire suppression system would allow a fire to spread more quickly, causing a greater degree of equipment loss and possibly loss of life.
When auditing fire suppression systems, the auditor should review system design, maintenance, and test records. This information can be obtained through a combination of interviews, document review, and observation. The data center facility manager should be able to provide the design, maintenance, and test documentation.