As you are well aware, having reliable fire prevention and detection systems in place is essential to protecting your data center. Since your data center contains critical business and organizational information, it’s essential to have regular inspections by fire suppression services to ensure that the equipment is functioning optimally.
Over the course of this year alone, global spending on data facilities was estimated at approximately $149 billion, according to the Gartner Group. Given the importance of safeguarding data, as well as financial investments, the operational budget must also make allowances for fire suppression systems. This includes fire suppression systems’ inspection, maintenance, and provision.
Whether the size of your data center is under or over 2,500 square feet, there are specific systems that need to be in place. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) new NFPA 75 and 76 codes provide guidelines for these types of early-warning systems.
When your telecommunication equipment facility is housed in an area above 2,500 square feet, then you need to have a Very Early Warning Fire Detection system. When your facility is housed in an area below 2,500 square feet, then you need to have an Early Warning Fire Detection system.
NFPA 75 provides the minimum requirements for protecting IT equipment and the area within which it is housed. It is intended to provide protection from the following potential types of damage associated with fires:
- Smoke corrosion
NFPA 76 provides fire protection requirements for telecommunications facilities that provide the following services:
- Internet transmission
The purpose of NFPA 76 is to protect the public, facility employees, equipment, and service continuity.
In addition to complying with the NFPA requirements, it is imperative that you have an evacuation plan in the event that there is a fire. When 119 businesses were surveyed, only 35% had a plan in place.
It is also a best practice to have regular drills to ensure that employees know the proper protocols. Furthermore, you should have personnel designated to lead these drills and review information as needed with staff.
If you have any specific questions about your commercial fire alarm systems, you can discuss these with the fire protection contractor. Furthermore, when you contact fire suppression services to come to your facility for a routine inspection, they will be able to determine whether you are in compliance with NFPA regulations.