Rooms containing stationary storage battery systems shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1. Commodity classifications for specific technologies of storage batteries shall be in accordance with Chapter 5 of NFPA 13. If the storage battery types are not addressed in Chapter 5 of NFPA 13, the fire code official is authorized to approve the fire suppression system based on full-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved laboratory.
Battery systems that utilize water reactive materials shall be protected by an approved alternative automatic fireextinguishing system in accordance with Section 904. The system shall be listed for protecting the type, arrangement and quantities of storage batteries in the room. The fire code official shall be permitted to approve the alternate fire suppression system based on full-scale fire and fault condition testing conducted or witnessed and reported by an approved laboratory.
Where required by Section 608.6 or Section 608.1.3, ventilation of rooms containing stationary storage battery systems shall be provided in accordance with the California Mechanical Code and the following:
- The ventilation system shall be designed to limit the maximum concentration of flammable gas to 25 percent of the lower flammability limit, or for hydrogen 1.0 percent of the total volume of the room; or
- Continuous ventilation shall be provided at a rate of not less than 1 cubic foot per minute (cfm) per square foot [0.00508 m3/(s • m2)] of floor area, but not less than 150 cfm (4 m3/min).
- The exhaust system shall be designed to provide air movement across all parts of the floor for gases having a vapor density greater than air and across all parts of the ceiling for gases having a vapor density less than air.
Where required by Section 608.6 or 608.1.3, rooms containing stationary storage battery systems shall be protected by a continuous gas detection system complying with Section 916. The gas detection system shall be designed to activate where the level of flammable gas exceeds 25 percent of the lower flammable limit (LFL), or where the level of toxic or highly toxic gas exceeds 1/2 of the IDLH.
Activation of the gas detection system shall result in all the following:
- Initiation of distinct audible and visible alarms in the battery storage room.
- Transmission of an alarm to an approved location.
- De-energizing of the battery charger.
- Activation of the mechanical ventilation system, where the system is interlocked with the gas detection system.
Exception: Lead acid and nickel cadmium stationary storage battery systems shall not be required to comply with Items 1, 2, and 3 above.
Where required by Section 608.6, approved methods and materials shall be provided for the control and neutralization of spills of electrolyte or other hazardous materials in areas containing stationary storage batteries as follows:
- For batteries with free-flowing electrolyte, the method and materials shall be capable of neutralizing a spill of the total capacity from the largest cell or block to a pH between 5.0 and 9.0.
- For batteries with immobilized electrolyte, the method and material shall be capable of neutralizing a spill of 3.0 percent of the capacity of the largest cell or block in the room to a pH between 5.0 and 9.0.