Data centers can reduce fire risk by sucking out oxygen

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - Data centers can reduce the risk of a fire by reducing the amount of oxygen in the air. IDG reports that several vendors at Cebit are showing off fire suppression and prevention equipment that reduces the oxygen ratio in normal air. Air normally contains around 21% oxygen, but this can be lowered a few percentage points, with the appropriate equipment. At around 16% percent oxygen, most fires won't even start.

The firms say a low oxygen content server room is still safe for humans and liken it to a jaunt up a tall mountain. Mountain climbers frequently experience oxygen deprivation because the air is thinner in higher altitudes. Of course, data center gurus will have to deal with both bone-chilling temperatures along with low oxygen.