A data center faces many hazards, and risk of fire is always a live threat.
Clients who store their valuable data with data centers need to check if their data center is NFPA70 compliant. National Fire Protection Association Regulation 70 (NFPA 70) or the National Electrical Code offers a benchmark for safe electrical design, installation and inspection. It specifies stipulations for the installation of electrical conductors and equipment, signaling and communications conductors, optical fiber cables and raceways. Among other things, it provides guidelines for undertaking a comprehensive study / audit of arc flash analysis and labeling of equipment, aimed at preventing fire hazards.
According to NFPA 70 article 100, an arc flash hazard is “a dangerous condition associated with the possible release of energy caused by an electric arc”. The high arc flash energy areas are usually areas where incident energy values exceed category 4 (40 cal/cm2), and, in data centers, this is mostly in the facility’s main switch gear.
NFPA 70 specifies ways to conduct a risk assessment, recommends measures for flash and arc protection and mandates proper protective equipment for employees based on their tasks. It describes:
- Products to be used for general electrical construction.
- Minimum physical and operational characteristics for electrical products.
- Test standards that some products have to meet, to be deployed.
The data center is free to deal with the specifics of how to comply with these standards in whichever way they see fit, but is expected to use the best means available to comply with these requirements.
NFPA 70, like most NFPA codes, is not mandatory and merely aims to develop a consensus on what constitutes industry best practices. Data centers would nevertheless gain by complying with these standards, as it helps assures clients of a fully complaint and secure operations.
The NFPA reviews and updates the NFPA 70 content once every three years, and, as such, this code remains more-or-less relevant throughout.
If you’re looking for a completely compliant data center, look no further than Lifeline. We have every protection in place and adhere to most, if not all, data center compliance regulations.