Building Technologies UK

Fire protection in the raised floor area

Maximising data centre uptime with an integral safety concept

In the raised floor area – the heart of a data centre – the risk of fire is particularly high due to the presence of a constant ignition source (electricity) and plentiful supply of combustible materials such as plastics in printed circuit boards. In an environment with high concentration of equipment and cables, even minor short circuits can have serious consequences.

An integral fire safety concept is therefore crucial to protect critical data and to ensure uptime. With more than 150 years of experience in fire safety, Siemens understands the specific requirements of data centres in terms of prevention, detection, response, and recovery. Our tailored solutions and services comply with the highest safety standards, and incorporate products and systems that meet industry-specific requirements and regulations.

Fast and highly reliable fire detection

Fire detection in data centre raised floor areas can be challenging for traditional smoke detection systems: fires typically start slowly with a long period of overheating and smouldering before erupting into flames; Detecting smoke early is therefore essential to avoid the onset of flames. However, the high levels of ventilation necessary to prevent equipment overheating also disperse smoke, making it more difficult to detect and enhancing the risk of a fast fire distribution to other rooms.

Our fire detection concept for data centres combines aspirating smoke detection with highly accurate smoke detection with SintesoTM S-LINE detectors, on one loop. Aspirating smoke detectors counteract the high ventilation levels by providing continuous air sampling and analysis. When smoke particles are detected, a pre-alarm is generated, triggering a ventilation shut down and enabling S-LINE detectors to verify the alarm. On alarm confirmation, the extinguishing system is activated.

Safe evacuation when needed

As in any fire situation, ensuring people are alerted immediately and know what to do is top priority. Alarm sounders and sounder beacons from Siemens provide immediate audible and visual alert to people in the danger area. The E100 voice evacuation system from Siemens – automatically activated by the fire safety system – provides clear and precise instructions through live or prerecorded voice messages to ensure people evacuate the danger area quickly and safely.

Fast and reliable extinguishing

Based on innovative technologies and 100 years of extinguishing experience, our solutions are tailored to your data centre’s individual need and size: they extinguish fires quickly and reliably, thereby protecting people, processes, assets, and the environment.

  • For medium to large-sized data centres, we recommend the inert gas system SinorixTM CDT. The unique constant discharge technology (CDT) based on natural agents allows a reduction of overpressure flaps by up to 70%.

  • For small to medium-sized data centres, we offer Sinorix 1230, a solution based on a long-term, sustainable technology that has one of the highest safety margins, ensuring quick and reliable extinguishing without negative impact on the environment. The 42-bar technology from Siemens is space-saving and assures maximum design flexibility.

  • For UPS systems representing a thermal risk, we offer the combined gas-water technology Sinorix H2O Gas, rewarded with the Security Innovation Award 2008. This highly efficient extinguishing solution is particularly suited for the data centre environment: the combination of nitrogen and water mist provides an additional cooling effect, faster extinguishing and long-lasting re-ignition prevention.

With XC10, we offer you a family of control panels combining both fire detection and extinguishing control. The panels can function as a stand-alone solution or be efficiently integrated into larger fire safety systems.

Enhancing data centre operations with integrated fire safety, security, and energy efficiency

Central management of data centre operational systems can provide a more efficient and dynamic use of resources – both technical and human. By combining the safety, security, and energy management disciplines, we optimise both risk management and energy efficiency – for maximum return on investment:

  • Energy consumption for cooling, ventilation, lighting etc. represent the highest energy costs for data centres. Our building automation systems enable you to save energy costs by optimising the control of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lights and blinds.

  • With our access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance systems, the overall security is greatly improved during business hours and out of hours:
    - Access control provides safe and flexible access authorisation, time management and badge issuing
    - Video surveillance for centralised monitoring and/or recording of incidents before and after an event
    - Intrusion detection preventing unauthorised access to critical areas

Multi-discipline alarm management

The MM8000 danger management system provides centralised supervision and alarm handling for fire safety, security, and building automation systems in data centres. This functional interaction between the different systems provides an optimal event response, supported by a step-by-step guided event response process. The system improves operator efficiency by providing a uniform operation of all integrated systems, with simple to use graphical site overviews.

Tailored data centre services

We provide comprehensive advice and support during every phase of a project – from the risk analysis of your data centre to the specification and evaluation of our solution. Our service portfolio covers the entire spectrum throughout the life cycle – from alarm management to system maintenance, extensions, and modernisation.

As the availability of data centres is so critical, we have designed the following offering: 

  • “Advantage Plus for Data Centres”, ensuring the highest system performance, reliability, and availability.

  • With SafeGuard, our proactive remote service, Siemens can identify critical system deviations before they become problems and potentially cause business interruptions.

  • Guaranteed repair service within 36 hours as well as regularly scheduled door-fan-tests and extinguishing cylinder re-approvals will give you assurance that you are doing everything possible to protect lives, assets, and business continuity.