Many Australian businesses have their own server room to accommodate the servers that power their IT systems. Although most server rooms are generally quite safe, a fire can break out anywhere within a building and a server room is no exception. With all that electrical equipment housed inside a server room, an electrical short could result in a fire breaking out.
For fire safety, you need the right fire protection system in place, and in this article, we’ll be taking a look at some tips on protecting your server room from a fire.
Keep Your Server Room Cool At All Times
If the room has a stack of servers on shelves, they will generate a good deal of heat. An integral part of your server room fire protection should include air conditioning and good ventilation. The heat needs to be able to escape and you also want to keep the environment inside nice and cool so equipment doesn’t overheat and cause problems.
Likely, the room’s cooling system will be running all the time, so it’s vital that you keep the cooling system well maintained as well.
Install the Correct Fire Suppression System for Your Server Room
A fire protection system for a server room will also include fire suppression, in the event that a fire does break out. Rather than having regular fire sprinklers installed that spray water, you’ll want a suppression system that’s been designed for computers and electrical items.
What’s required is a gaseous system, also commonly known as a “clean agent” fire suppression system. Rather than having your expensive server equipment doused with water and potentially destroying it all, gaseous systems are clean and use gas to reduce the oxygen levels within the server room. Without oxygen to feed it, a fire simply dies out.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Have your server room regularly inspected by an IT professional to ensure all equipment is in good working order to prevent potential problems, including an electrical fire. It’s also a good idea to have the room inspected by a fire safety professional, to check on fire safety equipment, and to offer any advice to improve fire safety within the server room.
Keep the Server Room Clean and Free Of Dust
A room full of dust increases the risk of fire, especially if layers of dust are building upon surfaces that get hot, or the dust clogs up the ventilation systems of computer components. Dust is fuel for a fire, so the more dust-free the server room remains, the less chance there is of a fire breaking out. Your server equipment will function better and last longer as a result of cleanliness too.
Also, never use your server room as a storage area, piling up boxes of paper documents, and so on. Reserve it for its primary purpose only and never add potential fire fuel to the room.
Assign the task of regularly cleaning the server room to either one of your employees, or have professional cleaners clean the room periodically when they clean the rest of the office space.
Install a Fire Alarm
Make sure the server room has a fire alarm installed. These alarms should be placed in every room within the office environment, including the server room. Early warning systems such as fire alarms save lives and also alert staff to the outbreak of a small fire so it can quickly be extinguished.
Add a Class E Fire Extinguisher Outside Or Inside the Server Room
Class E fire extinguishers have been specially designed for extinguishing electrical fires, so this is the type of extinguisher you need to have handy if a fire breaks out in the server room. This type of fire extinguisher uses a combination of a dry chemical powder and carbon dioxide to extinguish an electrical fire and is generally quite safe on electrical equipment.
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Fire safety for your server room is not something to be forgotten about or swept under the rug. This room not only powers the company’s IT system but can also present a potential fire hazard if fire safety protection measures are not in place. Talk to an expert today about getting your server room prepared for fire safety.