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Protecting Data Centres from the threat of fire

Data centres process an ever-increasing volume of digital media and other data throughout a global network of several billion devices. An outage can be catastrophic due to the direct financial consequences and the impact on image and reputation.

There are multiple, potential sources of electrical fire in data centres, notably:

  • Heavy currents
  • Short circuits
  • Equipment defects
  • Lithium-ion batteries for energy storage in uninterruptible power supplies

These can lead to overheating and with large volumes of combustible materials such as plastics providing a plentiful source of fuel, combined with high-airflow cooling systems which supply large quantities of oxygen, the spread of fire can be rapid.

To minimise the fire risks, it is essential to provide very early fire detection. Aspirating smoke detectors can detect incipient fires long before there is any visible smoke, allowing data centre personnel to close down the system, thus avoiding the need to release an extinguishing agent. Should extinguishing become necessary, dry extinguishing systems offer the fastest return to normal operations.

The Siemens white paper which focuses on early detection and dry extinguishing, looking in detail at the role of aspirating smoke detectors.

You will be sent the whitepaper access link to the email address you provide, so please ensure the address is valid.

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