This post was written by Cedric Verstrynge, Victaulic Sales Engineer, Vortex, Victaulic Company, http://www.victaulic.com/
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Have you ever wondered what should be considered when deciding which fire suppression system to install your information technology space? This blog lays out exactly what to look for and how hybrid fire extinguishing systems are changing the landscape of fire suppression for data centres. Today’s data centre and electronics industries look for fire suppression systems that are safe, cost-effective, and mindful of the environment. Traditional water mist, gaseous, and inert gas technologies can present design, performance, and maintenance challenges. A hybrid combination, however, of water mist and nitrogen gas extinguishes fires with zero to little wetting. A hybrid-designed fire suppression system avoids excess water damage, maintains room integrity, and is 100% environmentally safe and easy to maintain. Avoiding excess water damage is a main concern for data centre and electronic facilities. These facilities house thousands of dollars of various electronics and, if a fire incident occurred, they want to preserve as many of their resources as possible. Traditional, single-agent water mist systems, if discharged, would cause extreme wetting conditions and damage to the equipment housed in the facility. Hybrid systems use as little water as possible to put out flames, saving the present electronics. Keeping it green is something that should definitely be considered when choosing a fire protection system. Inert gas systems present many problems in today’s sustainability-focused marketplace. These types of systems utilize chemical agents and halocarbons to achieve fire suppression, raising environmental concerns. Hybrid fire extinguishing systems are environmentally safe and use non-toxic gas. Following a fire event, or during regular maintenance, data centres and electronics facilities should consider a fire suppression system that is easy to maintain. Traditional agent storage cylinders may end up needing to be returned to the manufacturer for refill with property agents or removed from the system for weighing, both of these costing time and money. You need a system that recharges rapidly so you can use it almost immediately after a fire incident. A unique solution for data centres uses hybrid technology to deliver a high velocity, low pressure blend of water and nitrogen to both cool the hazard area and remove the oxygen that sustains the fire. Electronics are kept dry and there are absolutely no toxic agents or chemicals involved. This type of system has been proven effective for small, smoldering enclosed fires and large, heat-releasing fires in open spaces. A hybrid fire extinguishing system provides an innovative, safe, and effective fire suppression solution for installations that contain electronic equipment. Facility owners and operators benefit from the technology’s minimal wetting operation, simple maintenance, environmentally-friendly design, and rapid return to normal operations after system discharges.