A recent white paper from APC-Schneider Electric clearly defines major avenues for the creation, detection, suppression, and prevention of fire within mission-critical data center facilities.
The paper's introduction states its premise thusly: "Today’s data centers and network rooms, more than ever, are under enormous pressure to maintain operations. Some companies risk losing millions of dollars with one single data center glitch -- therefore, it is not hard to believe that in the event of a catastrophic data center fire, a company may not only lose millions, but may also go out of business."
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The introduction continues, "Today there are many ways of detecting and suppressing fires, but only a few are recommended for data center applications. In a data center, the main goal of the fire protection system is to get the fire under control without disrupting the flow of business and without threatening the personnel inside. Like any other critical system in a data center, fire protection must be redundant and fault tolerant in order to increase the overall data center availability."
Fire codes for information technology (IT) environments are discussed in the white paper; best practices for increasing availability are also provided.