Fire-proof web banking

May 2011 Fire & Safety, Financial (Industry)

Online bank taps Siemens for fire protection.

The new headquarters of Danish Saxo Bank, located in Tuborg Harbor, a suburb to the north of Copenhagen, comprises six floors with a total area of 16 000 square metres. The heart of the headquarters is the top floor, the trading floor, equipped with state-of-the-art information technology.

The online bank’s business primarily depends on a dependable and uninterrupted information technology. One of the requirements for this is the comprehensive fire safety Saxo Bank contracted from the Building Technologies division of Siemens.

Overall, the Saxo Bank fire detection system encompasses 920 intelligent smoke detectors as well as 66 manual call points that are connected to the Siemens fire alarm system. The system covers all of the rooms on all six floors, however, the fire safety solution focuses on the bank’s two IT rooms, which are protected by a Sinorix N2 extinguishing system. The vault is also integrated into the solution, which includes a fire detection and extinguishing control panel and 16 extinguishing agent cylinders with nitrogen.

Just like other extinguishing systems using natural agents, the Sinorix N2 extinguishing effect is based on oxygen reduction (inertisation) in the protection area: The flooding of the area with nitrogen typically lowers the oxygen percentage by volume to 13,8 to 10% by volume depending on the risk of fire, which deprives the fire of the oxygen it needs to burn. This will reliably extinguish the fire and prevent it from igniting again.

The Sinorix extinguishing systems with natural agents offer a high amount of flexibility in planning and engineering. The systems for nitrogen can be designed in 200- or 300-bar technology. Additionally, single-sector as well as multisector solutions with respective cylinder batteries and selector valves can be realised. A centralised or decentralised positioning of the cylinders is possible. Based on this flexibility, inert gas extinguishing solutions can be optimally tailored to existing building structures, requirements, and risks of fire.

The nitrogen used as an extinguishing agent in Sinorix N2 is a natural gas and is harmless for the environment and people. That ensures environmentally friendly extinguishing and allows the flooding zone to be put into operation again quickly after flooding by means of a simple overpressure ventilation. Nitrogen has poor electric conductive properties and is chemically inert, so there will be no harmful reaction products when it comes into contact with fire. That reduces damage to the equipment and the highly sensitive servers.

“Our trading floor and skilled personnel need to be protected in order to ensure continuous operation of our business,” explained Attila Kiss, head of security and operational risk at Saxo Bank. “Any interruption in service, even for just a few minutes, could cost us a great deal of money.”

For more information contact Siemens Southern Africa, +27 (0)11 652 2412, [email protected],


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