Career Paths: Fire Sprinkler Service Technicians
The National Fire Sprinkler Association has committed itself to promoting the industry to those who are looking for a career in fire protection. On this edition of career paths, we’re going to discuss the role of a fire sprinkler service technician, including what the typical responsibilities are and what skills a prime candidate should have.
It’s Not Protected Unless It’s Inspected
Everyone in fire safety is well aware of the important role fire sprinklers play in protecting lives and property from fire. Fire sprinklers offer the maximum level of protection to occupants as well as first responders. Fire sprinkler designers ensure that systems are designed in accordance with the standard, and fire sprinkler fitters work to make sure everything is properly installed. But what happens after that?
Fire sprinkler systems are designed to be as simple as possible, and designers will go at lengths to accomplish this to not only keep costs down, but to minimize the chances of something failing. Despite this, regular inspections are required per NFPA 25 to make sure the system is ready in the event of an activation.
What Can Go Wrong with Fire Sprinkler Systems?
Like any other system in a building, fire sprinkler systems are subject to the effects of time. Long stretches of dormancy can lead to things such as corrosion, internal obstructions, or similar impediments. Carelessness such as painting over cover plates or fire sprinkler heads are also common problems that impede systems. Then there’s the system being shut off entirely, which is the most common cause of a fire sprinkler system failure.
To mitigate these risks contractors employ fire sprinkler service technicians to inspect, test, and maintain fire sprinkler systems
What Does a Fire Sprinkler Service Technician Do?
The responsibilities of a fire sprinkler service technician vary based on the age and type of fire sprinkler system they are servicing. Some systems require visual inspections while others may need parts replaced or serviced.
Responsibilities can include conducting flow tests, replacing parts such as pressure gauges, sending sprinkler heads out for testing, or even conducting internal inspections. It is all dependent on the system’s needs as well as what is required in NFPA 25.
Below is a summary of a few of the skills a fire sprinkler technician should have:
- Basic to intermediate knowledge of fire protection systems
- Thorough knowledge of NFPA 25
- Attention to detail
- Report writing and record keeping
- Time management
- Willingness to learn
- Physical stamina and the ability to travel from site to site
- Communication skills to maintain relationships with customers
How to Become a Fire Sprinkler Service Technician?
Requirements vary from company to company, but fire sprinkler service technicians are usually required to have a high school diploma or equivalent diploma. Having a background in fire protection is generally helpful, which is why several fire sprinkler fitters also work as technicians. Past experience in fire protection is not always necessary, and contractors are willing to teach candidates that are willing to learn.
How Can the National Fire Sprinkler Association Help Me?
Looking to learn more about NFPA 25 to start your career as a fire sprinkler technician? The National Fire Sprinkler Association offers a complete pathway covering the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems. Additionally, our ITM site provides great information and content on all things NFPA 25 for those looking to learn more.
Whether you’re a potential candidate looking to learn more, or an employer looking to on board new hires, the National Fire Sprinkler Association can help you meet your goals. Our state-of-the-art training is available both in-person and online and was developed by fire protection professionals with decades of experience in the field. For more information, visit our training page.
Additionally, the National Fire Sprinkler Association offers a free class called Introduction to the Fire Protection Industry. This class lays out the basics of the fire sprinkler systems and is a must for those who are curious about the industry. Enrolling is simple. Click here to begin!