Table 3.4.3 of Australian Standard AS 1851:2012 provides two different criteria for batteries used for fire pump-sets as follows;
- Engine start batteries
REPLACE all engine-starting batteries after a maximum of 2 years service, irrespective of condition. Record date of replacement on the new battery and the date the batteries were replaced in the service record.
- Control batteries
When the battery has not been replaced in the previous two years, verify the battery condition by carrying out a battery discharge test in accordance with Appendix F of the Standard.
Engine Start Batteries
Most modern fire pumps have a primary battery (12v systems) or two batteries (2 x 12v batteries in series to combine to make a 24v battery system) used for engine start applications.
These same systems will typically have a secondary (backup) battery or batteries that in their normal condition will serve as the control batteries but in an emergency situation may also be used as an engine start battery.
In this case all batteries MUST be replaced every two years irrespective of condition.
It is more common to see an electric fire pump fitted with a single battery (control battery) that is used as a form of stationary battery. In this case, where the battery has not been replaced in the previous two years, a competent technician should carry out a battery discharge test in accordance with Appendix F of the Standard to verify its condition.