Are you aware of the battery standards for fire pumping? It is easy to get a little confused around Standards and which ones are relevant to you and your industry.
So, which standards are relevant for the Fire pumping Industry and what is required? In this Blog, Valen outlines the requirements by the Australian Standards for batteries in fire pumping in simplistic terms.
Valen has been specialising in Batteries, Energy-related products, and services to the fire industry since 1999. The fire industry like many others in Australia is required to comply with the relevant Australian standards as a minimum.
General Standard Requirements
Batteries supplied and installed in the Fire Industry must be compliant with AS4029.2 which means they are a fully sealed VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) maintenance-free Battery. This excludes the use of a traditional wet-cell unsealed battery type that can be topped up by electrolytes.
Battery identification plates are required to be attached to the system or enclosure including information such as; the voltage, CCA, Rated Capacity at C/20, Boost charge voltage, float charge voltage.
Battery Warning signs are also recommended to be installed on all batteries in fire pump panels to warn technicians to check the charger output before charging batteries, and that if the batteries installed do not match the information details on the plate, the batteries may fail, rupture, or explode. An example of such a label is as below.
Fire Pump Monitors
Batteries used for Fire Pump monitors must have terminal covers or protectors installed. Colour coded, strong, thick and durable rubber Terminal protectors like the below are recommended for maximum protection.
VRLA batteries should be installed in a separate ventilated area or enclosure, and a minimum of 2 years design life is required. Warning labels are required as above.
Starting & Controls
Batteries installed for Starting and controls require the same specifications as the Fire pump monitors mentioned above.
It is also recommended that these batteries are capable of complying with the relevant CCA as per AS2941. Warning labels are also required.
Batteries need to be as close to the starter motor as possible to minimise the length of the battery cable, and in turn the voltage drop.
So how do I make sure my Batteries are compliant?
Step up ActivFire! A CSIRO SSL (Scientific Service Laboratory) joint Government and industry body.
This CSIRO body tests fire protection equipment, including batteries, to the relevant standards and specifications.
The ActivFire scheme publishes a list of fire protection equipment that has been verified as conforming to the Australian Standards, international standards and technical specifications.
The list is known as the Register of Fire Protection Equipment and is stated on the FPA (Fire Protection Australia) website. An example of an ActivFire certificate is as below.
It is recommended for peace of mind to only ever utilise ActivFire compliant batteries.
What about Battery Chargers?
Battery Chargers for use in the Fire Industry carry a number of individual compliances not covered in this blog.
Keep an eye out for an update from Valen on Compliance around Battery Chargers for the Fire Industry!
Which battery is right for my application?
Need further information? Valen is happy to supply FPA documents or recommend the compliant Australian Standards to purchase.
Disclaimer – While Valen endeavour to convey in simplistic terms Fire battery standard requirements for the Australian market, it is best for the individual user to purchase copies of the Australian Standard through a certified supplier. Valen cannot be held liable for any damage done by the information provided in this blog post.