Fire, life safety in data centers

Forty-four percent of engineers who responded to the 2016 Fire & Life Safety Study make product selections for data centers.

By Amanda Pelliccione January 16, 2018

The Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Fire & Life Safety Study indicated that 44% of engineers specify, design, or make product selections for data centers—and the majority of these engineers are responsible for determining requirements/writing specifications for these projects. Below are five fire and life safety findings as they relate to data center projects:

  1. Systems specified: The top three fire and life safety systems being specified into data centers are fire, smoke, heat, and linear detection systems (88%); smoke detection, control systems, dampers, etc. (83%); and network and intelligent fire alarm control panels (68%).
  2. Specified systems value: The average firm earns $2.64 million annually from fire and life safety systems specified into new and existing data centers, with 30% bringing in more than $3 million each year from these projects.
  3. Specifications: Engineers are most frequently issuing performance fire and life safety systems specifications (83%) for data centers, followed by prescriptive specifications (66%).
  4. Challenges: When working on fire and life safety systems for data centers, engineers are having the most difficulty with code authorities’ subjective interpretation of regulations (75%), insufficient funding for quality design (66%), and designing for interoperability and integration of systems (64%).
  5. Comparing products: Overall product quality is most important (73%) when selecting a fire and life safety systems for a data center; engineers also look at service support offerings (52%) and manufacturers’ reputations (50%).

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Amanda Pelliccione
Author Bio: Amanda is the Research Director and Project Manager of Awards Programs for CFE Media and its publications.