North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Fire protection in ISPs and collocation facilities

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Fri Nov 03 04:41:53 2000

What has been the fire experience for ISPs and collocation facilities?
Other than the infamous Ascend incidents, I don't recall any ISP or
collocation fire incidents during the last five years.

Why am I asking, because some code officials seem to feel the need
to develop a special code to cover collocation facilities popping
up all over the place.  But I think most collocation facilities are
generally constructed to exceed the current codes anyway, and are
generally much lower risk than the "normal" occupancies around them.

The US Air Force is revising its design guidance for fire protection
of computer-electronic equipment installations this year. In the most
recent draft, the USAF has ultra sensitive air sampling smoke detection,
wet-pipe automatic sprinklers and smoke exhaust systems in its design

Based on a five year study, the USAF found the most significant fire
and smoke threats have originated outside the computer-electronic
equipment room.  Two-thirds of the fires originate outside the
computer-electronic room.

One-third of the fires originated within the vicinity of the computer-
electronic equipment. Less than 25% of the fires originate within the
computer-electronic equipment.

The single largest threat of fire to computer-electronic equipment is
the electrical distribution system.  Two-thirds of the dollar losses
(1/3 of the fires) are caused by fixed wiring, transformers, power
switching gear, light fixtures and extension cords.

In over 50% of the fires, the first material ignited is some type of
plastic, including electrical insulation.