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Thread: Fire protection in Server Room

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    Default Fire protection in Server Room

    I was in a police station last week (invited on buisness, not in dragged in bracelets ), and noticed fire sprinklers above their server/communication racks. I really, really hope the sprinklers weren't active ...anyway, it got me wondering, what is the norm for fire protection in server rooms? I guess just a CO2 fire extinguisher near-by?
    The link budget is not a problem, we intend on splitting the bill...

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    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radioraiders View Post
    I was in a police station last week (invited on buisness, not in dragged in bracelets ), and noticed fire sprinklers above their server/communication racks. I really, really hope the sprinklers weren't active ...anyway, it got me wondering, what is the norm for fire protection in server rooms? I guess just a CO2 fire extinguisher near-by?
    Ours is water. Our office in Mass has an inert gas system. I'm not sure what they use any more as halon is a greenhouse gas and banned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Ours is water.
    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    I actually just found the same thing in my server room here. I had actually never noticed the sprinkler head up there before. .
    So water sprinklers in server rooms are the norm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snayler View Post
    because if a fire sets the sprinklers on and there is someone in or nearby the server room, they could be in a really dangerous situation.
    I was thinkng of the equipment, it didn't cross my mind that I could be in danger....shows my dedication I guess ...gotta ask for a raise
    The link budget is not a problem, we intend on splitting the bill...

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radioraiders View Post
    So water sprinklers in server rooms are the norm?
    No, not really. My "server" room is a converted utility closet, since the stupid architects decided that we needed a glass atrium instead of an actual server room. Damn glass atrium now throws off the HVAC system because of all the extra sunlight entering the building. They never considered that sets of 20' high windows facing south would be a bad thing for the HVAC system.

    I was thinkng of the equipment, it didn't cross my mind that I could be in danger....shows my dedication I guess ...gotta ask for a raise
    I had worked for a defense contractor many years ago when Halon was still legal. In their mainframe room they had signs that basically said that if the firealarm sounds you have 30 seconds to leave the room before the firedoor goes down and halon is dropped. If you're in there at 31 seconds, you're dead.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    Very good friend of the forum TAPE's Avatar
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    That same goes for CO2 as well, allbeit not as immediately toxic as Halon was.
    Regrettably have had a few incidents in CO2 cylinder holding rooms..

    The firealarm is one thing.. the alarm that sounds when halon / co2 release unit is triggered (usually a solanoid trigger on the casing) thats the one that gets the heart pumping

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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    I had worked for a defense contractor many years ago when Halon was still legal. In their mainframe room they had signs that basically said that if the firealarm sounds you have 30 seconds to leave the room before the firedoor goes down and halon is dropped. If you're in there at 31 seconds, you're dead.
    When I was in the military all our equipment was in mobile vans. If it started buring, just jump out, 31 seconds, 32 seconds, didn't matter, whatever you felt like

    Quote Originally Posted by bofh28 View Post
    To prevent fire just lower the oxygen level to 15%. Standard air is about 21% oxygen. At 15% you can't have fire, but is safe for humans.

    Data Centers Breathe Easier with Less Oxygen - PC World
    I heard David Carradine was doing some top-secret research in that area before his untimely death
    The link budget is not a problem, we intend on splitting the bill...

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    I have a meeting tomorrow with a fire suppression guy and system design guy. We're going to be looking at doing what the OP had talked about. Capping off a wet sprinkler head and installing a self contained clean system. We're also going to be looking at putting in clean systems in several PLC cabinets, some MCC's and some VFD's cabinets. Probably about a dozen systems in all.

    I'll post back with more information after the meeting.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radioraiders View Post
    So water sprinklers in server rooms are the norm?
    I'm in the same boat as Streaker. Our building has been cut apart and repartitioned so many times it's not funny. I just got the hvac guy to install dampers on the ducts in the server room a few months ago. Got tired of the visquine and duct tape method of closing them off in the winter months. The room has it's own ac system, but it's nice to have the added cooling capacity in the summer from the building's ac, just don't need the heat in the winter.... The building isn't ours, so we can't do a lot of modification to it, and I just found out we may be moving in the next 6 months or so, oh joy!

    Quote Originally Posted by floyd View Post

    Wouldn't that kill everybody who is in the room?
    Unfortunately humans are just as dependant on oxygen as fire. Usually these types of systems are used in areas where people don't normally inhabit.

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    My life is this forum thorin's Avatar
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    I've been in lots of server rooms with sprinklers, the arguement seems to be that fire is more of a danger to the electronics and storage than water. i.e.: Yes you might short some things out but you'll have a better chance of recovering data.
    I'm a compulsive post editor, you might wanna wait until my post has been online for 5-10 mins before quoting it as it will likely change.

    I know I seem harsh in some of my replies. SORRY! But if you're doing something illegal or posting something that seems to be obvious BS I'm going to call you on it.

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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorin View Post
    I've been in lots of server rooms with sprinklers, the arguement seems to be that fire is more of a danger to the electronics and storage than water. i.e.: Yes you might short some things out but you'll have a better chance of recovering data.
    I would agree with this, but I would also argue that if you have the cash to put in a really nice data center, then you should also have budgeted for a non-water suppressant system.

    Something that removes the oxygen from the room is going to put out a fire faster than water, and not be as much of a mess to clean up, so your recovery time is going to be a lot less.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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