Fire Suppression: Eat the Heat - FM200

A must have for any data centre?

As already discussed in a previous blog post, the IoT and its impact upon the volume of data has taken the demand of data centre capacity to a whole new level. Given this increase, data centres are beginning to require a lot more energy to maintain their ability to quantify and store data at an efficient rate; thus, leading to a higher risk of overheating.

Data centres are developing at a rapid rate and as a result, fire suppression systems must uphold certain values to maintain themselves amongst development. Many suppression systems historically adopt a water-based deterrent which through default would lead to data being destroyed due to irreversible water damage. Generally speaking, fire suppression in the past has often caused more harm than good – being somewhat of a vigilante in attempting to save the day.

Many businesses are turning towards alternative and hybrid forms of suppression to minimise damage. The most notable form being FM200 or heptafluoropropane. FM200 is a compound that becomes active based upon heat density – in short – the more intense the flame, the more effective FM200 will be. Aside from its effective yet paradoxical properties, FM200 also upholds a variety of advantages:

·         Minimal space requirements (making it an ideal suppression unit for smaller rack builds)

·         Environmentally friendly

·         User friendly

·         Safe for workplace environments

·         Very short atmospheric life time and drawback effect

With these factors in mind, adapting your data centre to maintain a fire suppression system becomes almost a no brainer.  However, the industry is witnessing an unprecedented rate of growth within the context of hardware – leading to uncertainty in how suppression will correspond with some of the hardware and resources that are quickly becoming apparent within industry.

As for now, if you haven’t already considered a fire suppression system for your data centre, FM200 based systems may be something to consider. Their unique ability in becoming more effective as a direct result of heat concentration makes them a powerful asset to manage the growing need of power within data centre environments.

Also note that FM200 is not the only fire suppression solution available. Each data centre has unique requirements and FM200 systems may not always match your needs, so make sure to do your research before you do anything. However, for the majority and current industry FM200 is a solid go to if you're looking for something compact, reliable and safe. 

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