Preventive fire protection measures in the server room

Fire protection in the server room: What options are available?

Cadolto Datacenter

In any server room, fire protection plays a key role in protecting the hardware located there and the data stored on it. A server room with effective fire protection contains a range of measures and systems covering both preventive and reactive aspects.

Preventive fire protection measures include compliance with building and safety regulations which prescribe specific insulation and the use of fire retardant, non-flammable materials (e.g. building fire protection under DIN 4102). In addition, the server room electrics must be inspected regularly in order to ensure that no overheating or spark formation occurs.

Another important aspect of preventive fire protection in the server room is the monitoring of temperature and humidity. Overheating can lead to fires in the server room, which should therefore have adequate cooling to prevent fire (e.g. with NOVEC 1230 as cooling agent). In addition, the humidity must be monitored in order to prevent electrostatic discharges which can also trigger fires.

Various types of fire extinguishing systems are available as reactive fire protection in the server room. A common options for servers and rooms is gas extinguisher systems. These use inert gases or chemicals to suppress the fire without damaging sensitive IT equipment or leaving residues. Automatic extinguisher systems are generally triggered automatically by smoke or heat detectors and are especially effective in combating fire at an early stage. 

Alternatively water sprinkler or water mist systems can be used. These extinguisher systems produce a fine water spray which suppresses the flames and cools the surroundings at the same time. While water can potentially damage IT systems, water mist minimises the risk of water damage and can be an effective solution.

In addition to the above measures, an effective fire protection concept for the server room (e.g. doors and windows in accordance with DIN 18082) should also include emergency plans and regular fire drills. IT personnel should be trained to react quickly and effectively in the case of fire, until the local fire service arrives on the scene. In addition, measures should be in place to restore data and systems after a fire.

Overall, organisational fire protection in the server room is an important aspect of IT security. Companies can protect their important IT infrastructure and minimise the risk of data loss or downtime due to fire through a combination of preventive measures and reactive systems.