Network+ and Safety Precautions

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If you’re planning on taking the Network+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of safety precautions when working on computers and networks.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. Your organization recently purchased another company. Several administrators have inspected the server room at the new company and raised safety concerns. Specifically they state that the server room has a system that can remove all oxygen from the room and threaten the lives of anyone in the room. What is the purpose of this system?

A. ESD prevention

B. Safety of personnel

C. Temperature control

D. Fire suppression

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Fire Suppression

Network+ and Safety Precautions

You can fight fires with individual fire extinguishers, with fixed systems, or both. Most organizations included fixed systems to control fires and place portable fire extinguishers in different areas around the organization. A fixed system can detect a fire and automatically activate to extinguish the fire. Individuals use portable fire extinguishers to suppress small fires.

The different components of a fire are heat, oxygen, fuel, and a chain reaction creating the fire. Fire suppression methods attempt to remove or disrupt one of these elements to extinguish a fire.

You can extinguish a fire using one of these methods:

  • Remove the heat. Fire extinguishers commonly use chemical agents or water to remove the heat. However, you should never use water on an electrical fire.
  • Remove the oxygen. Many methods use a gas, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) to displace the oxygen. This is a common method of fighting electrical fires because CO2 and similar gasses are harmless to electrical equipment. However, when used in server rooms or data centers, they threaten the lives of employees so additional precautions are needed to ensure personnel exit before activating the fire suppression system.
  • Remove the fuel. Fire-suppression methods don’t typically fight a fire this way, but the fire will go out after all burnable material is gone.
  • Disrupt the chain reaction. Some chemicals can disrupt the chain reaction of fires to stop them.

Remember This

Fire suppression systems attempt to detect and extinguish fires. Systems that remove or displace all the oxygen in the room can potentially threaten the lives of personnel in the room, so should be considered with caution.

HVAC

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems enhance the availability of systems. Computing and networking devices can’t handle drastic changes in temperatures, especially hot temperatures. If devices overheat, the chips can actually burn themselves out. HVAC systems also control humidity to help prevent ESD damage.

The cooling capacity of HVAC systems is measured as tonnage. This has nothing to do with weight, but instead refers to cooling capacity. One ton of cooling equals 12,000 British thermal units per hour (Btu/hour), and typical home HVAC systems are three-ton units. Higher-tonnage HVAC systems can cool larger areas or areas with equipment generating more heat.


Learn more about common safety precautions mentioned in the Network+ objectives.

Sign up for the free Networking Components course here.


The amount of air conditioning needed to cool a massive data center is much greater than you need to cool your home, primarily because of all the heat generated by the equipment. If your home air conditioner fails in the middle of summer, you may be a little uncomfortable for a while, but if the data center HVAC system fails, it can result in loss of availability and a substantial loss of money.

It’s common to mount computing and networking devices in installation racks (sometimes called bays or cabinets). These racks usually have locking doors in the front and rear for physical security. The doors have perforations allowing cold air to come in the front, passing over and through the devices to keep them cool. Slightly warmer air exits out the rear. Additionally, a server room has raised flooring with air conditioning pumping through the space under the raised floor.


 

Q. Your organization recently purchased another company. Several administrators have inspected the server room at the new company and raised safety concerns. Specifically they state that the server room has a system that can remove all oxygen from the room and threaten the lives of anyone in the room. What is the purpose of this system?

A. ESD prevention

B. Safety of personnel

C. Temperature control

D. Fire suppression

Answer is D. This scenario describes a fire suppression system.

An electrostatic discharge (ESD) prevention system includes tools and techniques to prevent ESD damage, but does not include the ability to remove oxygen from a room.

Removing oxygen from a room does not preserve safety of personnel. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provides personnel with safety information about potentially hazardous materials, such as cleaning agents.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the cleaning agent will provide the best information, such as first aid treatment.

Heating and ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) systems maintain proper temperature and humidity. They do not remove oxygen from a room.

Practice Test Questions To Help You Pass the Network+ Exam (N10-006) The First Time You Take It.

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