If your company has a server room or a room filled with computer stations, you'll want a fire suppression system installed. Electronic equipment is valuable and the data stored on it could be lost in the event of a fire. A contractor can help you choose the ideal system based on how you use the server room; however, you'll want to avoid water sprinklers as these can destroy the equipment. Here are a couple of choices in fire suppression systems that might work for you and the components you'll need.
Systems That Reduce Oxygen
One method of putting out a fire is to remove its source of oxygen, since oxygen is required for a fire to keep burning. This can be done by releasing gas into the room when a fire is detected. The gas is usually a mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon. The gas displaces the oxygen so the fire goes out. Since no dangerous gases or chemicals are released, this is a safe form of fire control to use if people are present in the room. While the gas lowers the oxygen levels enough to put out the fire, enough oxygen is left in the room to support human life; however, employees should exit as quickly as possible to escape the fire and return to a normal breathing atmosphere.
Systems That Reduce Heat
Another option for suppressing fire in a server or computer room is to use synthetic gases. These work by reducing the heat in the room to put out the fire. Oxygen levels are not lowered and because no water is used, electronic equipment is not harmed. This fire suppression system is safe to use in data centers where employees are present when a fire occurs. One advantage of this type of system when compared to one that reduces oxygen is that fewer cylinders are required, so it is a good option when installing a system in a small space.
Components That Make Up The System
Since the systems don't use water and connect to a plumbing source, they rely on canisters to put out the fire. Multiple canisters are generally required and must be installed perfectly so they perform as needed. They are integrated into a fire detection system that includes heat sensors or smoke detectors. Even if the area being protected is small, you'll usually need more than one detector so there will always be a backup in case one detector fails. Audible alarms are mounted and the entire system is connected to a control panel so the system can be triggered manually as well as automatically.
These are just two basic types of fire suppression systems, but there are multiple options in each group with varying ratios of gases for specific applications. You'll want to consult with a fire protection professional to determine the best way to protect your valuable equipment and priceless data so it won't be lost to fire. Companies like Alexander Gow Fire Equipment Company can offer more information.