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The price of a $3 doorstop

Posted on July 23, 2018 by

A $3 doorstop can cost you thousands.

You are responsible for a mission-critical facility or mission-critical area inside of a facility. Maybe it’s telecommunication equipment, a server room, a motor control room, a process control room or a power equipment room.

A fire in that room would be catastrophic – so you protect it with a clean agent fire suppression system. Maybe it’s even one VSC installed. (If so: thank you, and we’re happy to help.) If the worst should happen, you’ll minimize collateral damage and get your business back up and running sooner rather than later.

Of course, these protective systems are only as good as the space they’re in. Suppressive gases don’t work as well when they’re busy leaking out through cracks in the walls, floor, or ceiling. If there are flaws in the enclosure of your mission critical area, the clean agent you paid for will be far less effective in minimizing the effects of a fire.

This is why VSC inspectors have come to dread the sight of a rubber door stop.

Look, we get it. There are some good reasons why you’d want to hold the door open to your mission-critical space. Convenience. Venting hot air from overtaxed servers. But in the event of a fire, whose job will it be to remember to kick the door stops out? Yours?

Maybe you even put a sign on the door to remind everyone to close it in the event of an emergency. In our experience, that sign will go unread.

More likely, the fire suppression system will activate and release the agent, which will drift harmlessly and ineffectually out the open door while the fire rages unchecked. And all the time and money you spent will disappear, courtesy of a $3 doorstop.

If the door must stay open, it’s worth the expense to install magnetic door closures that seal automatically when fire is detected inside the protected space. This will ensure that the integrity of the enclosure is intact before the fire suppressing agent is released, allowing it to do the job you (and we) intended.

Other things to consider are wall openings, every one of which should be made airtight. If you’ve had work conducted in your space – such as new cabling, or conduit or duct work – has that work been properly sealed? You may not have noticed because it’s hidden above ceilings. We’ll know where to check.

Lastly, have proper inspections conducted, and make sure every deficiency is noted. This includes missing signage, labels, or other instructions, as well as any unsealed openings. If you have doubts about the integrity of your protected space, a fan integrity test can be conducted to determine its condition.

Don’t let a rubber door stop put a stop to your business. Call or contact VSC for an inspection of your critical spaces, and save your $3 for coffee.

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