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Dry-Pipe Doesn’t Mean Clean Agent April 2, 2010

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Systems, FSSA.
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Here are a couple of my comments regarding a recent entry found at: http://www.colocationblog.org/

Friend, you’re exactly correct. The notion of “dry-pipe” is a misnomer for inferring that clean agent fire suppression is in place. Moreover, the installation of fire sprinklers is to meet a building code – not the operational objectives of a datacenter (how many 9’s is it?)

One point of clarification – neither Halon 1301, FM-200, Novec 1230 or other clean agents listed for total flooding applications deplete oxygen in a protected space. In the case of Halon 1301, it chemically interrupts the chain of combustion (See NFPA 12A appendix for more information). The other noted agents essentially absorb heat to suppress the fire (See NFPA 2001 for more information).

The idea that all gaseous agents deplete oxygen to suppress the fire flows from the way the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) systems work and, to some extent, the way Hollywood portrays the technology. CO2 is NOT recommend for total flooding applications where personnel may be present (See NFPA 12 for important safety requirements).

This topic is very timely. Read more about Google’s recent datacenter fire at my blog: shawnpci.wordpress.com

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