How profitable is fire alarm and data installs

LouisianaApprentice

Senior Member
I would like to get licensing for all so i could one day get hospital or industrial contracts that do all this. Is this fairly simple for someone with a commercial electrician background to do.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I would like to get licensing for all so i could one day get hospital or industrial contracts that do all this. Is this fairly simple for someone with a commercial electrician background to do.

Wiring is the easy part for one that already is an electrician. Now you need to know the rest of codes that go with fire alarm systems, and probably need to deal with both electrical and fire inspectors on your projects. May or may not need additional licensing depending on rules where you are.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Wiring is the easy part for one that already is an electrician. Now you need to know the rest of codes that go with fire alarm systems, and probably need to deal with both electrical and fire inspectors on your projects. May or may not need additional licensing depending on rules where you are.
In NJ, if you're a licensed contractor, you can do fire alarm. Or I should say, "permitted" to do fire alarm. Just like as a PE I'm "permitted" to sign off on a bridge design. I shouldn't, but I'm permitted. Once, anyway. That said, you could try joining the Louisiana AFAA, attend their meetings and get started on learning the trade. It's a hike for you going into Baton Rouge, but I don't know how far is too far in your neck of the woods. Always start with small jobs, and cultivate a vendor rep who can help you out. Silent Knight is a pretty good brand, but reps can vary in quality.
 

LouisianaApprentice

Senior Member
In NJ, if you're a licensed contractor, you can do fire alarm. Or I should say, "permitted" to do fire alarm. Just like as a PE I'm "permitted" to sign off on a bridge design. I shouldn't, but I'm permitted. Once, anyway. That said, you could try joining the Louisiana AFAA, attend their meetings and get started on learning the trade. It's a hike for you going into Baton Rouge, but I don't know how far is too far in your neck of the woods. Always start with small jobs, and cultivate a vendor rep who can help you out. Silent Knight is a pretty good brand, but reps can vary in quality.
Thanks for the info im getting offical electrical training through my local ibew hall and i just thought itd be more profitable to do everything on big jobs alongside electrical work. Ill check the AFAA out
 

LouisianaApprentice

Senior Member
Wiring is the easy part for one that already is an electrician. Now you need to know the rest of codes that go with fire alarm systems, and probably need to deal with both electrical and fire inspectors on your projects. May or may not need additional licensing depending on rules where you are.
Ive ran fire alarm before and it can become a headache in places like hotels where everything has to be kept track of and barcodes scanned. The code should be the easiest part the only thing is not being immersed in the trade i know i wont know all the tricks so i ask the guys every once in a while on a job and bug the shit out of em lmao
 

zbang

Senior Member
Given that many electricians specialize (pools, boat docks/marinas, industrial, computer rooms, gas stations, etc etc), some extra knowledge is always useful and makes you more valuable. If you think FA systems are interesting, by all means learn a bunch about them and the relevant codes. Heck, even just reading the install sheets and codes is more than probably many people do. I'd start with NFPA 72 (fire alarm) and 101 (life safety).
 

kwired

Electron manager
Ive ran fire alarm before and it can become a headache in places like hotels where everything has to be kept track of and barcodes scanned. The code should be the easiest part the only thing is not being immersed in the trade i know i wont know all the tricks so i ask the guys every once in a while on a job and bug the shit out of em lmao
I've done pretty limited fire alarm work myself. Also done HVAC controls with addressing on system devices - PITA with some systems when something fails in the network. One happened to shut the entire system down if an address wasn't working, would be nice if it gave trouble alarm instead of total shutdown:censored: Addressable FA devices may or may not be as big of a pain when there is problems, IDK.
 
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