What Business Owners Need to Know to Protect Data from Fire

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By Jacob Maslow

In today’s world where it is hard to find a business that does not rely on technology of some sort, all businesses are in danger of losing valuable data in an emergency situation when a fire breaks out in a data or server room. Losing critical data can end up being extremely costly, and even a recipe for business failure. As such, it is wise for every business to invest in a preventative plan before it is too late.

A fire in a data or server room may not only stop a business from operating for a short period of time, be it a few hours or a few weeks, but it can cause a business to permanently shut its doors. According to Faulkner Information Services, almost 50% of companies that lose their data due to disasters end up shutting down within two years time, while data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor reveals that 93% of those businesses close shop within five years. Similarly, research conducted by the University of Texas shows that 94% of businesses close their doors following a disaster and further indicates that most of these businesses do not succeed in reopening.


With these frightening statistics in play, it clearly is important to think ahead and to formulate a disaster plan that will not only protect important data, but also enable your business to get back up and running as quickly as possible.


There is more than one “right” way to prepare for a scenario in which there is server or data room fire or disaster. Having a simple set up of smoke alarm and sprinkler heads is a good start and may be enough for some businesses that do not need to get back to full operation within minutes or hours. However, for companies and businesses in which where every second counts, more sophisticated fire suppression systems for server rooms are critical.

Any effective fire suppression system should include certain essential components, including: an alarm with flashing lights; fire extinguishers; an emergency power-off switch; a suppression system delay or cancel switch; and a suppression agent (either water based or gaseous) that will not cause additional damage or destroy equipment.

Once it is understood that no server or data room should be without a suppression system of some type, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of various suppression options to decide what will work best for your budget and business needs. Being sufficiently prepared for a disaster with a well thought out plan will minimize interruption of business operations and worse.

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