Do you have a state-of-the-art fire suppression system protecting your business and server room?
Do you and your staff understand how the system works and know what actions or habits would undermine the system and render it useless?
The honest answer from most business owners is “No.”
This poses a danger to many businesses’ most valuable assets as well as to their staff. Especially if you have a clean agent suppression system, your employees need to be properly trained in how it functions so that they can avoid the very common mistakes that prevent the system from working in case of an actual fire.
4 Reasons Your Staff Needs Proper Training
There are a few common errors that employees make with regards to IT rooms especially that could endanger the whole room and its equipment in case of a fire.
1. Improper use of IT room: Many employees, even your IT crew, cave into the temptation to use the server room like a storage closet. Combustibles like paper, boxes, and other items get left or stacked on top of equipment or in corners.
These combustibles increase the risk of a fire occurring in your server room. However, because clean agent systems are not for deep seated fires, but for fires in their earliest, incipient stage, they may not be able to fully suppress deep seated combustible fires.
Your staff needs to understand why the server room is NOT a storage unit!
2. Subfloor Space: A commonly overlooked aspect of server rooms is their subfloor space, where most of the power and various other cabling usually are run.
Employees, especially from the IT department (no offense, folks) come in, move equipment around, change where things are, but don’t properly adjust how the cabling is laying or organize or remove excess cabling. It gets more and more tangled and knotted and cables that no longer belong there remain, acting as fire hazards in a difficult space to access.
3. Ceiling Tiles: IT guys (again, no offense) will often want to run cables through ceiling tiles, but neglect to remember to put them back. Or, they may even cut holes in them to run their cabling.
But clean agent suppression systems are designed for the specific cubic area of the space they are protecting. Removing ceiling tiles means expanding the space. This could cause the design concentration from not being achieved and maintained for the specified period of time.
4. Doors: With the traffic in and out of the IT room, it can be easy to want to leave the doors open. However, for the same reason given for not removing ceiling tiles, leaving the door open could have a significant effect on the clean agent effectiveness. It is also critical to ensure that doors have proper seals and sweeps when closed as this will help with enclosure integrity and energy savings.
If you have a system in place where the IT room doors automatically shut and seal in case of a fire, fantastic! But if you do not have this type of protection, you need to have a plan in place to ensure those doors are closed.
Especially when dealing with server rooms and with more nuanced suppression systems, like the clean agent systems, your team needs to know how the system functions before a fire occurs so their actions do not nullify its ability to work in case of an actual fire.
Do You Have a Plan?
So, do you have proper training and emergency response plan in place for your team?
Do you really understand how your fire suppression system operates and what to do?
Unless you have been thoroughly debriefed about your suppression system, how electrical and other types of fires related to your unique space work, and have developed an air-tight emergency plan, chances are you will need to bring in the experts for everyone to receive proper training.
At Koorsen Fire & Security, their passionate and expert trainers can provide proper and thorough training that will teach both how your suppression systems work (and what it needs to work) as well as how fires you are most at risk for start and spread. They will provide engaging, hands-on training in the use of extinguishers and suppression, and can help you formulate an effective emergency plan as well.
Fire suppression training is generally free of charge for our customers as Koorsen Fire & Security feels proper training is important step in ensuring the safety of our customers. If you’re ready to ensure the safety of your business and staff, contact Koorsen to schedule training today!