BEYOND WATER SPRINKLERS AND SMOKE DETECTORS, THE NFPA CODES FOR DATA CENTERS & CRITICAL ELECTRIC EQUIPMENT

Disasters such as fire, flood, storm, lightning or even sabotage can happen anywhere at any time and with no warning. Fortunately, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) prescribes codes for fire safety and protection. It is compulsory to adhere to these codes, and failing to do so could attract government penalties. In the context of critical electric equipment & data centers, some of the codes applicable are:

NFPA 70E: Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

NFPA 72: Automatic fire detection and signaling system.

NFPA 75: Protection of IT equipment (servers, storage, cables, cooling equipment, power) and its adjoining areas.

NFPA 76: Fire protection for public telecom services (land-line/mobile phone, data communication, internet, VoIP and audio/video transmission).

Our Design for Fire Suppression Releasing System
Critical Electric Equipment’s  & Data centers are backbone of today’s modern technology and  communications infrastructure, and are expected to grow significantly in number  and importance as more users shift to cloud-based applications and services.
Fire Protection, Detection and Mitigation
The design and construction requirements for critical electric equipment in today’s industry & data centers are unlike those applicable to many other commercial and Industrial structures. It require access to energy sources sufficient enough to power extensive arrays of computers and other electronic devices, as well as heating and cooling equipment required to maintain suitable environmental conditions. Adequate backup energy generating capacity is also required to provide uninterrupted power during outages. Fire protection and suppression technology is critical to minimize the potential loss of  critical electric equipment, IT equipment and data under fire conditions.

Our designed Automatic Extinguishing Release Systems automatically activate actuators for the release of a fire  extinguishing agent (dry chemical, water spray, foam,  CO2, Clean Agent include FM200, etc.) in response to fire detection device input.

UL and FM Extinguishing Release System Panels must have a minimum of 24 hours of standby power. 
Initiating devices must be Listed/Approved for the application, and may be wired either Class A or B. Actuators must be electrically compatible with the control panel circuits and power supplies, and are wired Class B to provide coil supervision. (See details in next section.)

Automatic Extinguishing Release Systems with Separate Bell Control (single hazard).
Releasing appliance circuits (RAC): RAC 1 is agent release control and RAC 2 operates as a bell control Notification appliance circuits (NAC). When cross-zoned, stage 1 alarm activates the bell until the release timer starts. When not cross-zoned, stage 1 alarm activates the bell until expiration of the release timer. In both cross-zoned and non cross-zoned applications, NAC2 may be programmed to indicate either a tamper switch supervisory condition or the start of the release timer using a cadence pattern operation.

NFPA 75

Fire Protection and Detection 
Equipment (Chapter 8)—Addresses the requirements  for fire protection and detection equipment, as follows:

  • Automatic fire protection systems (8.1)—Requires that IT equipment areas and rooms be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system, a gaseous clean agent extinguishing system, or both. In certain cases, an automatic sprinkler system or a gaseous fire extinguishing system must also be installed below a raised floor. Sprinkler systems used in IT equipment areas and rooms must be valved separately from other sprinkler systems.
  • Automatic detection systems (8.2)—Requires the installation automatic fire detection equipment at both the ceiling level of the IT equipment area and below a raised floor housing cables. Smoke detection systems must also be installed to operate smoke dampers.
  • Portable extinguishers and hose lines (8.3)—Requires the deployment of listed portable fire extinguishers, either carbon dioxide or halogen-based, to protect IT equipment. Signage must clearly indicate the type of fire for which each type of extinguisher is intended. Dry chemical extinguishers are not permitted.
  • Gaseous agent and total flooding extinguishing systems (8.4)—Addresses requirements for gaseous agent and total flooding extinguishing systems in cases where such systems are deemed essential for protecting data, minimizing equipment damage and facilitating a prompt return to service.
  • Expansion or Renovations (8.7) — Whenever changes are made to the information technology equipment area — for example, size, installation of new partitions, modification of the air handling systems, or revised information technology equipment layout — the potential impact onexisting fire detection and extinguishing systems shall be evaluated and corrective changes shall be made if necessary.
  • Water mist fire protection systems (8.8)—Details requirements for water mist fire protection systems where installed.

Additionally, Chapter 8 includes requirements for training IT equipment area personnel on the desired response to alarm conditions, the functioning of the alarm system, and the location of all emergency equipment, tools and extinguishers.