Fire alarm system question

Cda55

New member
Location
California
My first post here, thanks for having me. I have a question for you guys. I work for the State of California as an Electrician. Is it legal for me to work on a fire alarm panel? None of the electricians here are C10 nor do we have any training on fire alarms. Most of our issues seem to be dirty smoke heads but some have problems with the control panel. We have been told that we have a varience so we are allowed to do the work. However nobody will produce this for us to read. Does anyone know what we can legally work on and what a trained vendor has to be used for? I know I can do the work but I don't want to break the law in doing so or put someones life in danger for that matter. Do any of you know of a code that explains this in NEC or fire code? Thanks for the help.
 
Fire Alarm Contractor Requirements

Fire Alarm Contractor Requirements

I know you can perform anything to do with a fire alarm system, if you hold a State of Florida EC or EF license. There are a couple more certifications that will allow you to work on fire alarm systems, depending on what you are doing. I can't remember all of them off the top of my head.

Click: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/
And then search the Electrical Contractors requirements.

At one time, I held an active ER license. With that specific license, I could only do limited work associated with fire alarm systems.
 

MichaelGP3

Senior Member
I don't have the answer one way or another, but I do have some avenues you might want to explore.

Would your employer sponsor factory training on the panel(s) you perform service work on?

Do the vendors your organization purchases parts from offer any 'in-house' trainings? Sometimes manufacturers will have these periodically at their distributors sites, or when a new product is rolled out.

There may be fire alarm classes offered at your local IBEW hall.

Have you looked at manufacturers websites?

There is an organization called NICET that offers a certification program for fire alarm.

Are your inspections contracted out, or done in-house? If they are contracted out, you could ask those folks where they got their training.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
If you were in Florida I would suggest you read the statute that requires the license to work on the fire alarm and look for an exemption for state employees working on state owned property.

Maybe start there. What law in California requires a fire alarm technician to be licensed? What exemptions exist for state employees?

If you do discover you are exempt, I suggest some sort of verifiable competency like a class & certification, etc. That will limit or reduce liability when (not if) something comes to haunt you.
 

Brian S.

Member
Location
New Jersey
Programming

Programming

Some smoke heads are addressable by serial number and they cannot be replace by just swapping heads. passwords and programming manuals are needed to replace a bad head. Imo I worked with a fire alarm once i'll leave them to the alarm companies.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
My first post here, thanks for having me. I have a question for you guys. I work for the State of California as an Electrician. Is it legal for me to work on a fire alarm panel? None of the electricians here are C10 nor do we have any training on fire alarms. Most of our issues seem to be dirty smoke heads but some have problems with the control panel. We have been told that we have a varience so we are allowed to do the work. However nobody will produce this for us to read. Does anyone know what we can legally work on and what a trained vendor has to be used for? I know I can do the work but I don't want to break the law in doing so or put someones life in danger for that matter. Do any of you know of a code that explains this in NEC or fire code? Thanks for the help.
It looks like the answer may be "yes". See here for a list of exemptions from licensure in CA under question #3 in the section "General Requirements".
 
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