(4-May-2012) In an instant, a data center fire can devastate a business. Beyond downtime, there’s equipment damage, escalating insurance rates, and other related costs to deal with— hence the need for fire protection and suppression systems. As Melanie Davy, Info- Tech Research Group analyst aptly says, however, there’s more riding on the outcome of these systems than costs. “Life safety always should be first priority,” she says. To that end, “installing and selecting a fire prevention and suppression system for the data center should not be a DIY project,” Davy says. “It requires the expertise of a fire engineer and/or third party to ensure the protection of property; continuity of business; and most importantly, life safety.” Read on for more concerning fire protection and suppression.