Fire is a dangerous risk to homeowners and businesses alike. A lack of safety measures can result in property damage, financial losses or worse.
Fire alarm systems are a crucial prevention measure, but the performance of these systems is entirely tied to proper installation and maintenance. Electrical or mechanical failure can spell disaster.
Only a small subset of electricians has received the training and certification to ensure fire alarms perform to expectations and that building, and facility management teams, comply with the latest Fire Code regulations.
Canadian Facility Management & Design, a leading news publication for the real estate industry, recently published an article addressing the need for certified fire safety installation professionals. In the story, then president of the Ontario Fire Chiefs, Cynthia Ross Tustin, shared how important a properly installed and maintained fire alarm system is.
“Both sides of the fire equation put their life on that fire alarm system,” she remarks. “The people in the building rely on it for themselves and their children to be notified to get out of the building, and the fire department relies on [it as well].”
That’s why, under Ontario Fire Code O. Reg. 213/07, the province has put forth strict guidelines and qualification requirements for persons performing work in specific fire safety-related subject areas, including:
testing, inspection, repair, replacement or altering of fire alarm systems, and
testing and maintenance of interconnected smoke alarm systems.
In Ontario, “individuals who perform this work must successfully complete a program or course acceptable to the Fire Marshal.”
It is essential to find and hire a registered Fire Alarm Contractor (RFAC) in your area to handle all your fire alarm needs. You can locate certified fire alarm electricians through organizations like Certi-Fire, one of just two certification programs approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal.
The Certi-Fire program has four levels of training, with mandatory recertification every five years to keep up with technology, skills and new legislation. Training consists of a mix of virtual classroom and hands-on shop time, all conducted by experts in the field of fire alarm installation and maintenance.
If you are an electrician interested in becoming certified, visit Certi-Fire’s training page for course and schedule information. Or, contact the Certi-Fire Program Administrator directly at 1-800-387-3226 ext. 8509.
- Raising the alarm: The need for certified fire safety support
- ‘Hire Licensed Electrical Contractors’ Advises Fire Chief
- All Your Fire Alarm Needs
The Certi-Fire certification program is supported by the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario (IBEW CCO).