Data Center Fire Safety
February 10, 2011 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Data centers, if not carefully managed can inadvertently become filled with flammable materials. Every piece of IT equipment comes packaged in layers of cardboard, plastic and foam. A fire in a data center is bad enough; you don't need to add highly combustible materials to the mix unnecessarily.
A good strategy is to have a staging area outside of the data center where all boxes are removed from equipment before it is loaded on racks and carried into the data center. In addition to boxes, any plastic, foam, cardboard and whatever else there might be beyond the actual piece of equipment, should be removed in the staging area.
The policy of no flammable materials in the data center should be clear and absolute. Anything that is required in the power room or data center that is flammable should be in fire-retardant boxes or cabinets. In addition, security should tour the facility every few hours or a least a few times per shift to make sure that nothing is amiss.