Fire Alarm Certification Options

Clearly, certification is the way to go and the one to use is left up to you or your state.


The NBFAA certification process is different than the NICET in a very basic way. NICET tests your knowledge, which stems from your experience in fire alarm systems, math, geometry, science, electronic theory and components and the metric system, to name a few. The NBFAA tests your fire alarm knowledge and requires a minimum level of training. NICET has stated that there shouldn’t be any training necessary for their certification since their certificates are awarded to demonstrate knowledge gained through work experience. In fact, NICET doesn’t provide any training at all. The NBFAA process mandates classroom time and levels of certification awarded based on fire alarm competence.

Clearly, certification is the way to go and the one to use is left up to you or your state. Even if your state specifies a particular certification organization, such as NICET, they commonly allow for similar certification providers so as not to mandate anyone’s exclusive product. Hopefully, you can now choose wisely and evaluate from the facts presented here. Remember to be on the watch for NICET and NBFAA to vastly change their testing and certification processes over the coming year. When their changes are finalized, I’ll update you in this column.

In other news…

The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) announced that Valued Relationship Inc., West Carrolton, Ohio, a healthcare services provider of medical alert monitoring, renewed their CSAA Five Diamond Certification, which testifies that 100 percent of their central station operators have achieved proficiency and certification by passing the CSAA Central Station On-Line Operator Training Course. These courses cover virtually all phases of central station communications with customers, law enforcement, fire and emergency services communicationscenters.This critical area of communications is the life-saving link between the residential or business properties and the law enforcement, fire and emergency services in local areas.

Certification through NBFAA’s National Training School

The National Training School (NTS) of the NBFAA offers three certifications: Certified Alarm Technician (Level I); Certified Fire Alarm Technician; and Certified Alarm Technician (Level II).

Certified Alarm Technician

(Level 1) - Requirements:

Successfully complete the three-day Certified Alarm Technician course and pass the two-hour, multiple-choice examination.

Certified Fire Alarm Technician

Requirements:

Successfully complete the two-day Fire Alarm Installation Methods course and pass the two-hour, multiple-choice examination.

Advanced Alarm Technician

Requirements:

Level 1 Certification

Successfully complete the two-day Advanced Burglar Alarm Technician course and pass the two-hour, multiple-choice examination.

Successfully complete the two-day Fire Alarm Installation Methods course and pass the two-hour, multiple-choice examination.

Greg Kessinger, SET, CFPS, can be reached at Greg@firealarm.org or www.FireAlarm.org.