Recently had a main transformer blow in my apartment building, whole place was without power, but we did discover that the fire alarms had no backup power source to allow the alarm pulls to still function. Very concerned, the firefighters who responded didn't seem bothered but I feel like this should be addressed. Location, Florida, just wondering what's required and who I should contact.

  • You should call your local inspection office.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 19:26
  • Your local fire marshal is usually the one responsible for fire safety inspections. The height of the apartments makes a difference if less than 3 stories above grade the system in many cases is not even required to be interconnected above 3 a whole new set of rules come into play.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 20:02
  • 1
    Is there somebody contracted to monitor and/or service the alarm system? Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


Whoever maintains the fire alarms needs to fix this

NFPA 72, 10.6.6, and combine to require that a functioning source of secondary power to the alarm system must be present. Normally, this is provided by a set of sealed-lead type batteries in the FACP (Fire Alarm Control Panel) cabinet, or in a battery cabinet located adjacent to the FACP cabinet in large systems. If nobody's been servicing the system, and the batteries have gone west as a result, this is what you get, though.

As a result, you need to contact whoever is responsible for installation, testing and maintenance of the fire alarm system and tell them to fix the battery failure trouble that the system's been complaining about for who-knows-how-long. If nobody has that responsibility, yell at your landlord until somebody steps up and fixes it, because it's the building owner's job to maintain the system unless they delegate it in a lease or other written agreement, as per NFPA 72 through

  • Of course, if the landlord won't take action, contact the fire marshal or the building inspector. They can compel action by levying large fines if necessary.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 17:21
  • Such phenomenal answers, thank you SO much!
    – Halz
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 17:32

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