What You Need To Know Before Choosing A Career In Fire Protection And Security
Fire protection and security companies design and implement solutions to properties, to reduce the risk of fire and the possibility of security breaches. They install, test, maintain and repair fire safety and security systems, such as fire alarm equipment and suppression systems, and CCTV systems to ensure the safety of occupants. They work for numerous industries servicing industrial, institutional, commercial, and multi-residential properties.
As a technician, traveling to worksites is required with time also spent on preparing very detailed reports with the use of technology. Individuals who enter into fire protection and security need analytical and problem-solving skills, mechanical and electrical proficiency, the ability to multi-task, and good communication skills. In this essential industry, Fire Alarm Technicians must be fully licensed and registered with the Canadian Fire Alarm Association (CFAA). Sprinkler Fitters must be fully licensed and a member of the Ontario College of Trades. Both are in very high demand and are obtained through college-level education. Often, employers will support this education and may contribute to the ongoing education and annual fees for renewal.
To join this industry, Regional Fire and Security Systems has outlined what you should know before choosing a career in fire protection and security.
1. Educational requirements
Individuals performing fire alarm system inspections, testing, verifications, repairs, or maintenance must be licensed, and technicians are accountable for the accuracy of their work. To become a registered CFAA technician, you must complete a 5-course technician training program, and register as a trainee. Passing the written and practical exams with a grade of 80% or higher. Courses include Fire Alarm System Overview; Verbal, and Written Communications; Basic Electricity for the Fire Alarm Technician; Life Safety Systems Electronics; and Fire Alarm System Application. Continued education is required to earn credits towards fulfilling the requirements for license renewal, as well as annual registration fees. For Sprinkler Fitters, typically, four years of in-school, as well as on-the-job hours (7,200 hours total) is required, along with a current membership with the Ontario College of Trades.
To become a registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician and Sprinkler Fitter, the necessary skills and hands-on training must also be obtained in the workplace.
2. Essential skills and requirements
This is a very code and standards-driven industry which requires the ability to make accurate decisions. Candidates must have strong communication skills to provide accurate information to owners and property managers. People in fire protection and security also need the stamina to cover large buildings, and may work for long periods. They should be mechanically inclined, and physically fit to climb ladders and carry heavy equipment. To troubleshoot effectively, successful Fire Alarm Technicians must also be detail-oriented problem solvers. The industry needs qualified, reliable technicians, who are willing to learn, collaborate with others, and with strong work ethic. Flexibility is also necessary since service schedules can be unpredictable, requiring on-call, evening or weekend work.
The advantages and challenges of a career in fire protection and security
As an essential service, a career in fire protection and security is stable and gainful. While the pay scale for an entry-level position is about $16.00 an hour as an apprentice, fully-licensed technicians are offered a significant increase in pay. The growth and opportunities are great; from apprentice to licensed technician, to supervisor and management. The mission of fire protection is to maximize the effectiveness and use of fire alarm systems in the protection of life and property in Ontario.
If you’re interested in a career in fire protection, it is best to start with the industry associations like the Canadian Fire Alarm Association and Ontario College of Trades. We would be happy to answer any other questions that you may have - get in touch with us here.
With over thirty-five years of fire and security system installation and design experience, our qualified and accredited professionals provide design, installation, and maintenance services for fire protection, CCTV, access, and security to commercial, industrial, and private residential properties. Working on these projects has given our team the knowledge, confidence, and determination to facilitate any request put forth by our clients. At Regional Fire and Security Systems, our goal is to provide the best technical solutions to meet our client’s needs in all areas of the fire protection, security, and communications market. We provide continuous ongoing on-the-job training to our apprentices so that they can learn and grow in the field and provide high-quality services to our clients. We offer fire alarm solutions, fire sprinkler and special fire extinguishing solutions, communication and emergency lighting solutions, security and monitoring solutions, fire safety plans, etc.
For more information about the services we have to offer, please click here.