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A battery is an electrochemical device used for the storage and release of electrical energy that is made up from cells that are made from positive and negative charged plates immersed in an electrolyte that produces an electrical charge by means of an electrochemical reaction. A battery consists of one or more cells, connected in series, parallel or series-and-parallel pattern.

In fire safety, there are two types of batteries used;

Engine Start Batteries

An engine start battery is used for to supply a large amount of energy (current) in a short amount of time (starting current) to start (turn over) a diesel motor. The energy storage and release capacity of a motor start battery is measured in Cold Cranking Amps ("CCA") or Marine Cranking Amps ("MCA")

According to Australian Standard AS1851:2012, a motor-start battery must be replaced every two years irrespective of condition.

Standby Battery

Conversely, a standby battery is used in applications such as fire detection and alarm systems, emergency warning systems, or a pump controller where a backup or reserve power supply is necessary. In this application the main feature of a standby battery is its ability to deliver a consistent supply of energy over an extended period of time. The energy storage and release capacity of standby battery is measured in Ampere Hours ("Ah").

According to AS1851:2012 a standby battery does not have to be replaced every two years, however standby batteries must be tested in accordance with Appendix F - Battery Capacity Testing of Australian Standard AS1851:2012 to verify their condition.


In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.