Fire and life safety in data centers

The Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Fire and Life Safety Study indicated that 46% of engineers specify, design, or make product selections for data centers.


Results of the Fire and Life Safety research study. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying EngineerThe Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Fire and Life Safety Study indicated that 46% of engineers specify, design, or make product selections for data centers. Below are six high-level findings impacting the fire and life safety industry today as they relate to data center projects:

  1. Products specified: Eight in 10 engineers specify fire, smoke, heat, and linear detection systems for data centers. Other top products include smoke detection, controls systems, and dampers (77%); network and intelligent fire alarm control panels (63%); and chemical and clean agent fire-suppression systems (60%).

  2. Annual specified products value: The average firm specifies $3,066,667 in total fire and life safety products for new and existing data centers on a yearly basis. Twenty-four percent of these firms specify more than $5 million in fire and life safety products.

  3. Future critical challenges: The top critical challenges or issues affecting the future of fire and life safety systems in data centers, according to respondents, are subjective interpretation of regulations by code authorities (79%), code enforcement not understanding new systems (71%), and inadequate budget for good design (70%).

  4. Discipline input: Local authorities having jurisdiction or fire officials have the most input/impact (69%) on engineers' fire and life safety design for data centers, followed by owners (43%) and electrical engineers (32%).

  5. Vendor involvement: Six in 10 engineers cited that equipment vendors are occasionally involved in helping them complete their data center specifications, compared with 27% frequently, 6% always, and 4% never.

  6. Important design factors: Sixty-eight percent of engineers consider product quality to be an extremely important factor that leads to their selection of fire and life safety systems for data centers. Other important factors include service support (54%), manufacturer's reputation (47%), and a manufacturer's complete product series or system capabilities (44%).

View more information at Amanda Pelliccione is research director at CFE Media.  

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