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NICET Fire Alarm Training: How I Train My Workers?

As an owner or manager, you’re probably familiar with the fire hazards likely to occur in your business or industry. You may even stay abreast with the latest updates of the fire codes, including the National Fire Protection Associate 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which deals with fire detection and alarm systems. But what about your employees?

It may not be enough to have one or two employees familiar with these codes, and capable troubleshooting or maintaining a fire detection and alarm system. A fire can break out at any time and key personnel might not be on the premises just when you need them most.

Furthermore, employees may come and go, taking with them the knowledge from past trainings. Or, maybe it’s been a while since many of them took the training, and it’s possible they need some refreshing. As it happens, NFPA was updated in 2016 and the next code, for 2019, will be available in the next few months.

Maybe it is time to invest in a training that will help your employees update their skills.

Why Training Matters

According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Act, workplace fires and explosions take about 200 lives and injure 5000 annually. The NFPA reports that 37,000 industrial and manufacturing fires occur every year, resulting in $1 billion in damages. In many of these fires, inadequate training, inadequate fire extinguishing systems, locked exits and other issues have played a part, as have failures in fire alarm and emergency signaling systems.

The causes for industrial and manufacturing fires are many, including combustible dust; high temperature work, such as welding sparks igniting vapors; flammable liquids and gases; faulty equipment and machinery; and electrical hazards.

Reducing Fire Hazards in Your Workplace

Fortunately, there are a number of things an employer can do to reduce fire hazards.

  • Conduct a hazard analysis.
  • Establish fire prevention and emergency procedures. Ensure your team has access to the procedures, and be sure to go over them periodically.
  • Maintain good housekeeping procedures that address the issue of combustible dust.
  • Inspect and maintain equipment and systems, including fire safety systems, such as sprinklers and fire extinguishers, and fire alarm systems.
  • Provide fire safety training.

Part of maintaining your fire alarm system is understanding how NFPA 72 guides the design, installation, and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems. NFPA 72 offers the most up-to-date safety provisions to meet the challenges and changes in fire detection, signaling, and even emergency communications. Beyond the focus on fire alarm systems, the code also encompasses requirements for mass notification systems used in terrorist events; weather emergencies; or biological, nuclear, or chemical emergencies

Getting Trained

Many institutions, organizations, and schools offer training for workers in fire alarm systems. Whichever training you choose, you want to be sure that it includes preparation for NICET (National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies) test preparation.

Being current with NFPA 72, or the National Fire Alarm Code®, may be a boon to your fire alarm and signaling system’s reliability. A course should focus on teaching your workers the following:

  • Fundamentals of fire alarm systems, including phases of a fire hazard, power supply requirements, and system operation
  • Fire alarm equipment for dwelling units
  • Initiating devices, including choosing the right detector for the location, spacing requirements, environmental factors, smoke detection for air duct systems, and detection in high air movement environments
  • Emergency communication systems (mass notification included), as well as NFPA and ADA requirements
  • Being familiar with tools, terms, techniques
  • Inspection, testing, and maintenance

In addition, a course should cover these topics:

  • NFPA 72 basics
  • Codes requiring fire detection and alarm systems
  • How to operate automatic fire detectors
  • Troubleshooting
  • Designs, capabilities, limitations of typical systems
  • Other codes that apply to fire detection and alarm systems
  • Backup power supplies

The NICET certification component should include preparation for levels I and II certification. Level I is for trainees or entry-level technicians with limited responsibilities while Level II is for technicians who perform tasks under general supervision. The course should ideally offer test-taking strategies and a review of reference materials so the test takers’ ability to pass the exam is maximized.

The NICET certification in fire protection engineering technology is increasingly in demand in the electrical and other trades for those who design and commission fire alarm systems.

Who Should I Send to this Training?

Among those who might benefit from this type of training are persons with these job titles:

  • Safety director
  • Building engineers, managers, and superintendents
  • Stationary engineers
  • Electricians
  • Fire alarm contractors and technicians
  • Building managers and superintendence
  • Plant and facility maintenance technicians

If you have a team of employees who could benefit from fire alarm training and NICET certification, the NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code ® With NICET I & II five-day seminar offered by NTT Training could be the solution you’re looking for.

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