Friday, January 09, 2015
Fire readiness updates to plan for 2015
One of Amazon's newest data centers, currently under construction in Ashburn, Virginia, caught fire on Jan. 9. The Friday morning blaze was eventually contained, and no serious damage to the building occurred before firefighters were able to get the flames under control, according to Business Insider. The contractor responsible for building the data center, Corporate Properties Office Trust, told the resource that the fire would have little impact on the data center's construction schedule. Regardless, the unpredictable nature of even a minor fire highlights the importance of establishing a readiness strategy in the data center. Many critical components in the data center are sensitive to heat, so even a small outbreak of flames can do serious damage to a facility's essential hardware.
Decision makers should make sure fire strategies are up to date
As recently as 2013, the National Fire Protection Association has updated the standards for fire suppression and safety in data centers. These standards are not mandated, according to TechTarget, so data centers are free to ignore them. Because compliance with the NFPA's latest suggested is not required by law, many IT decision makers overlook these suggestions completely. However, treating fire safety lightly in the data center comes with several avoidable repercussions. Reviewing these strategies before devising a fire readiness strategy is a simple way for data centers to improve fire suppression over previous years.
Organize infrastructure around safely and suppression
A panel of experts organized by trade magazine Consulting-Specifying Engineer recently provided tips for IT decision makers wondering where to start in terms of fire safety in the data center. Currently, data center managers have begun looking for fire suppression strategies that won't cut into the data center's square-footage. To upgrade their fire suppression preparedness, some IT teams may even displace some of their hardware to another location, a task made easy with the help of a remote console server.
New suppression rules could be around the corner
Another reason that data centers should prepare to update their fire suppression strategy in 2015 is because even more regulation changes may be around the corner. Data Center Dynamics noted that the European Commission is passing a law that will restrict the use of hydrofluorocarbons overseas for fire suppression. While this trend itself will not have an immediate impact on American facilities, it won't be long before similar restrictions begin to appear on local soil. The resource noted that the American government is already considering similar rule changes for data centers in the United States.
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