The recent OVH Data Center fire in Strasbourg caused not only huge disruption to many businesses, but also prompted multiple questions about the level of our preparedness in case of fire across the industry. Here’s an inside look into Contabo fire protections.
It All Starts with the Right Construction
Our Data Centers are built with fire protection in mind. That’s why, when we have multiple Data Centers in one region (like in European Union), they are not clustered together in one place but distributed geographically. Bigger Data Centers, like the one in Nuremberg, are also split into separate rooms for additional protection. For example, UPS are placed in separate rooms. We use concrete and brick walls with F90 certification and fire protection doors.
Followed by State-of-the-Art Detection Systems
Fire alarm is the heart of our prevention system. We constantly monitor the temperature in both the cold and the hot aisles. We also have smoke detectors placed throughout each Data Center (e.g. on the floor and on the roof). This helps to detect any danger early on and act promptly before the fire will get out of control.
Connected to Fire Department & Suppression Systems
In the unlikely event of fire alarm going off, the nearest fire department is notified automatically. In terms of suppression systems, the solutions vary across the Data centers. For example, in some Data Centers we utilize nitrogen-based suppression system which basically “suffocates” the fire by replacing oxygen which is require for fire to thrive with nitrogen. In other locations, we use water-based suppression system which will automatically fill with water the moment the first smoke detector goes off. This way it’s ready to sprinkle once the second smoke detector confirms this is not a false alarm. Of course, fire extinguishers are also present everywhere.
We maintain our fire prevention systems regularly in accordance with the local laws. Our Data Centers are also inspected by local fire protection authorities and external auditors in regular intervals. Moreover, our fire protection level has been also reviewed by our insurer prior to issuing fire protection insurance. On top of that, each Data Center staff has clear processes on how to act in case of fire.
Nobody can guarantee 100% fire protection, but I hope that this information will give you an outlook on how serious we are about fire safety in Contabo.