Fire Suppression

4 minutes
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Fire. Well, if there's one thing that's guaranteed to reduce the availability of your IT systems, it's fire. So in this episode, I want to cover just a little bit of fire suppression. Now, when we talk about fire suppression, it's really going to be in two very different ways. Number one, it wouldn't be a complete exam without some discussion of fire extinguisher classes. And then secondly, I want to talk about fires and fire suppression within the server room.

So first of all, let's go through the different classes of fire extinguishers. Different types of fires need different classes of fire extinguishers. So first we have what's called a Class A, A Class A fire extinguishers designed for ordinary solid combustibles like burning wood. A Class B fire extinguishers designed for flammable liquids and gases. So if you worked in a gasoline station, you'd probably have a class B. Fire Extinguisher laying around.

Number three is a Class C, Class C fire extinguishers are designed for energized electrical equipment. So if you're working with electrical equipment, you need Class C fire extinguishers. Class D is for combustible metals, which even sounds scary for me to even think about. And then class k k is for kitchens, that's for oils and fats. So guess which type of fire extinguisher you need to suppress a fire in your server room or with any type of computer equipment. That's right, the class C class C's workout pretty good.

The only downside to a class C is when you shoot them, they fire out a lot of powder. They can be pretty messy, but they're really good at stopping electrical fires. Okay, let's move over to the server room now and talk about what happens in there. The server room is going to be filled with absolutely critical systems. So what we want to do here is we want to put out a fire Absolutely. But if we could do it without destroying equipment, that would be a very good thing.

So using water, for example, or a classy fire extinguisher with its corrosive powder could be a pretty pretty big Add thing so what we do is we look for alternative fire suppression materials. Now for decades we use something called halen. So halen was a great fire suppressor. The only problem was it was not even slightly environmentally friendly. And we haven't seen it for many, many, many years. Today, the gold standard for fire suppression in server rooms is a type of material called Fm 200. fm 200 does a great job at suppressing fires, yet on the same token won't destroy equipment, and on top of that, it won't mess up with the environment also.

So suppressing the fire is important. However, there's other things to think about within the server room, like for example, you should seal off the server room. Now in a well designed hv AC system. The server room is all wet ready, probably pretty well sealed. So that's not a big deal. However, and this is where we tie in to the H vac system.

What we'll do is often tie the H back into a fire suppression system so it will simply shut louvers and knock down the HV AC. So all of that Fm 200 isn't sucked out of the room and vented out someplace. The other thing we need to remember is we have to turn off the power. And this can be a tricky one. And again, this is why we tie our fire suppression into our HVAC systems, because we want to be able to bring down the systems in such a way that we don't totally destroy them. But it has to be done very, very quickly so that we can suppress the fire.

Alright, so again when it comes to fire suppression as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to go out and get good vendors who provide me good fire suppression systems, and also remember for the exam, Fm 200 is the magic stuff.

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