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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Power Supplies


Secondary Power Supplies

Secondary power requirements state that within 10 seconds after the primary power fails the secondary power supply must power the system. However, no signals can be lost. The backup power supply must keep the system in service for a specified period of time. That period varies with system classification. If the alarm system is a remote station or auxiliary station system, the requirement is 24 hours, but in older systems, this may be 60 hours. If the system is a protected premises, central station, or proprietary supervising station system, the batteries will be required to power the system for a period of 24 hours. For any system classification, the backup power supply has to provide power for at least five minutes of full alarm activity.

Some properties may use an emergency voice/alarm communication system. Such systems require 24 hour standby in quiescent operation, but the standby power must also provide 15 minutes of operation at maximum connected load.

Transfer of power from primary to secondary has to occur so that system functions will not be lost.

Allowable arrangements for secondary power are storage batteries, multiple generators, or a generator and batteries.

Secondary power supplies have special requirements for readiness. Batteries used in a secondary power supply must be kept charged, which must be completed in 48 hours or less when batteries are fully discharged. If the charging process fails, the system must initiate a trouble signal.  Batteries must be marked with their date of manufacture.

Compatibility is a big issue with fire alarm system initiating devices. Underwriters Laboratories and FM Global keep a list of alarm system components and their ability to interface with other components.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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