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Standby Power Systems

Standby power systems are an integral part of fire safety measures, particularly for structures that must comply with theĀ  measure on their Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS). They are designed to provide reliable electricity in emergencies when the main power source fails, ensuring that critical systems like fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire pumps, and smoke control systems continue to operate.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA), administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), outlines the requirements for fire safety installations, including standby power systems. Section E of the BCA, which covers fire services and equipment, stipulates that certain buildings must have a standby power system in place. The type, capacity, and specifications of the system depend on the building's size, usage, and occupancy levels.

Standby power systems for fire safety measures typically consist of one or more emergency generators. These generators must be regularly tested, with results recorded, to ensure they are in a constant state of readiness. The Design and Installation of a Standby Power System, AS 3010.1-2005, outlines the Australian Standards that need to be followed for these installations.

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 also introduced increased requirements for emergency power systems, especially for high rise residential buildings. This was in response to several significant building fires internationally, which highlighted the need for robust fire safety measures, including reliable standby power systems.

Standby power systems ensure that, even in the event of a power failure, essential systems continue to function, helping to prevent loss of life and property damage. Their installation, operation, and maintenance are governed by a complex set of regulations and standards designed to ensure their reliability when needed most.