How To Protect Your Computer Against Fire Damage

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Natural disasters such as fires are a major cause of data failure. When your computer contains one-of-a-kind information, keeping it guarded from flames and smoke should be an important element of computer maintenance. Whether the user is protecting a per

Natural disasters such as fires are a major cause of data failure. When your computer contains one-of-a-kind information, keeping it guarded from flames and smoke should be an important part of computer maintenance. Whether you are protecting a personal computer or a corporate system, there are methods to protect your computer and the data it contains from fire damage.

Safety Equipment

There is a variety of safety equipment that, when installed properly within a room, helps protect computers and the data held within them. 

Hand-held fire extinguishers should be within close reach of the computers. Mark the extinguisher clearly and ensure staff is trained in how to use it. Bring in a professional to ensure the equipment is properly set up.

Water-type extinguishers and fire hose lines are also great to have for larger computer equipment centers, as a way to quickly fight fires and keep them from becoming out of control. Train the staff in how to properly use the extinguishers. Smoke alarms and smoke dampers are also important devices to install in the room to catch fires in the early stages and therefore help minimize smoke damage.

Maintenance

Perform regular testing on the safety equipment. For example, check the gauges of the fire extinguishers to see whether they need to be recharged. Re-train staff once a year in how to properly use the extinguishers and bring in professionals to ensure the devices are still in working order.

Ensure that there is a plan in place for staff to follow if there is a fire. Perform fire drills to keep the plan fresh in the minds of employees.

Ventilation

Create a separate ventilation system for the computer room if it is housed within a building that has other operations. The air pressure should be slightly higher than the other rooms to keep out smoke and fumes.

Room Contents

Various materials within computer rooms can enhance the magnitude of fires. Create a non-combustible environment to decrease risk of fire and help ensure that if a fire does begin it will not spread quickly. If furnishings are necessary in the computer area, guarantee they are made of non-combustible materials. Also, try to keep papers outside of the computer room as they would quickly amplify any fire that begins within the space.

Automatic Sprinkler Systems

Automatic sprinklers provide great protection against fires in computer rooms. When flames are detected by the system, an alarm is initiated and water is applied to flames and heat to cool the fire. A system that catches the fire in its early stages is often able to put out the flames. Emergency personnel are also contacted as a component of many sprinkler systems.

When computer power buttons are shut off before the water starts to flow, many computers are not damaged by the water exposure. Therefore, sprinkler systems should be set to shut off power buttons to the electronics when the sprinklers are triggered.

Protect computer hardware and data from fire damage by installing specific equipment in and around the computer room. Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms should be installed and regularly tested to work at optimal performance in case of fire. Automatic sprinkler systems are another way to ensure computers are not damaged. These devices prevent irreparable damages to computer equipment that would likely be expensive to fix and may even lead to bankruptcy of the operations.

Resources:

docstore.mik.ua/orelly/networking/puis/ch12_02.htm

www.verst.com.au/pdf/APF_understanding_fire.pdf

www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets/3Emergency_Management/02IntroToFireDetection.php

Photo Source:

Stock.xchnge  www.sxc.hu/photo/948968  Oystein Bjerkeland

6 comments

Mark Cruz
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Posted on Apr 15, 2012
Christy Birmingham
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Posted on Apr 1, 2012
Peter Curtis
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Posted on Mar 27, 2012
Christy Birmingham
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Posted on Mar 25, 2012
Guimo Pantuhan
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+Paulose
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Posted on Mar 24, 2012