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Best-Practices Data Center Fire Detection & Suppression

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 Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA)
All fires have four stages: Incipient (pre-combustion), Visible Smoke, Flaming Fire, and Intense Heat. This chart shows the progression of fire over a time period.

Note that the incipient stage of smoldering fires provides the widest window of opportunity to detect and control the spread of fire. VESDA smoke detectors are configured to generate multiple alarms within this window, to provide the time needed to help minimize or prevent fire loss. The smoke signature detection system constantly monitors the data center for specific events and can pinpoint the physical location of an event immediately upon detection. Benefits include:
  • Earliest possible warning of a potential fire, ensuring the most reliable protection of assets and property.
  • The world's most reliable early warning smoke detection system, avoiding the occurrence of nuisance alarms.
 State-Of-The-Art Fire Suppression

A state-of-the-art fire suppression system constantly monitors the physical environment for smoke, chemicals, and other hazardous materials that might spark a fire. Our data centers use a dual-interlock pre-action sprinkler system throughout the facilities. These pipes are dry-filled with compressed air - until two alarm conditions are reached thereby releasing the valve to charge the system. Water is only released in the are when a sprinkler head has lost its seal, or is actuated, due to heat, AND the fire detection system has detected a fire condition. If a head is accidentally knocked off, water does not flow into the system. Any water discharged will be sprinkler-head specific, which will limit the potential for damage caused by over-spray.

Multi-zoned, dry pipe, water-based fire suppression system with sensory mechanisms (sniffers) to sample air and provide alarms prior to pressurization. Dual alarm (heat and/or smoke activation necessary for water pressurization of system. Water only enters the fire suppression system in the event of two cross-zone alarms, and will only disperse in the event of a broken or melted sprinkler-head. Any water discharge will be sprinkler-head, which will limit the potential for damage caused by over-spray.

Our data centers are protected with a dual-alarmed, dual-interlock multi-zoned, dry-pipe, water-based fire suppression system armed with sensory mechanisms (HSSD) to sample the air and give alarms prior to pressurization. Production area fire suppression is provided by a multi-zoned, pre-action, dry-pipe system. In order for the system to trip, multiple cross-linked events must occur. These include detection by ceiling mounted smokeheads and smoke "sniffers" located throughout the facility. Lastly a sprinkler head must trip in order for the dry-pipe system to activate. this requires a temperature of 140 F at the head location. Fire suppression is localized at the even point only.