Batteries for Fire Alarm Systems

Q: Can you tell me where I could find the code reference for how often batteries serving fire alarm panels (booster panels, control panels, etc.) need to be replaced based on how old they are?

A: Currently, we are on the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, and Table 14.4.5 (6) (d) says sealed lead acid type batteries used on fire alarm systems need to be replaced 5 years after date of manufacturer, or more often as needed.

So, for now it is every 5 years after date of manufacturer.

Batteries for Won-Doors

Q: Are Won-Door control panel batteries required to be tested annually with other fire alarm system batteries?

A: I don’t believe so. The batteries in the fire alarm control panels (including any NAC panels) are required to be tested in accordance with NFPA 72 (2010 edition). But that does not directly apply to a battery that powers the Won-Door, since that battery is not included in a fire alarm control panel.

However, that does not mean you don’t have to test and maintain a battery serving a Won-Door. First, you need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to comply with the utility systems provision of your accreditation organization’s standards. This is also a requirement of the CMS standards as well. So, the expectation is you must maintain that battery in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. CMS does allow for an Alternate Equipment Management (AEM) program, that would allow you to deviate from the manufacturer’s recommendation, but the requirements to comply with this CMS AEM program are extensive and it is not worth it just to alter the Won-Door battery maintenance program.