How To Become A Fire Inspector
Fire inspectors play a crucial role in protecting our communities from the loss of life and property that often accompany fire-related disasters.
The job of these inspectors is to ensure that all fire safeguards are maintained, to evaluate the efficacy of safety and evacuation plans, to confirm that hazardous materials are stored properly, and that all fire safety codes are adhered to.
If you are aspiring to join this noble profession, there are certain steps that must be taken beforehand to prove your readiness and capability to handle these important tasks.
Today, you’re going to get a comprehensive look at these steps to prepare you to pursue this career option.
Step One: Become a Firefighter
Nearly every duty you’ll be expected to perform as a fire inspector requires knowledge and skills that firefighters are trained for. This experience and background information will make becoming an inspector much easier in the future.
Volunteers and new firefighters all must undergo fire science training. They must also learn about alarm systems, fire safety, and effective firefighting tactics. This will be an integral part of the fire inspector’s job.
Though you may not be fighting the fires yourself, this experience will aid you in preventing fires by doing thorough inspections.
Step Two: Undergo Fire Inspection Training
When you are ready, you can take the next step toward achieving your goal of becoming a fire inspector – fire inspection training.
This training is more comprehensive and longer than simple certification courses, so the sooner you start, the better.
Many employers require candidates to have at least some related secondary education. Your education should focus on:
- Fire protection engineering
- Fire science
- Building construction
Because knowledge of all of these topics is expected of a fire inspector, you should have at least two years of relevant experience. There are several programs and training courses that will help you get the required certificates and degrees for this purpose.
These training requirements vary from state to state and even between local departments. It is always best to talk to your employers about what they require from all fire inspector candidates if you want the best chance at being hired.
Step Three: Earn Your Fire Inspector Certifications
Once you finish your fire inspection training and are hired for the position, you have to advance through the ranks. Getting certifications will increase your chances of getting promoted steadily. The levels of fire inspector certifications are as follows:
- Certified Fire Inspector
- Certified Fire Inspector II
- Certified Fire Plan Examiner
- Certified Building Inspector
- Certified Building Plans Examiner
- Certified Fire Protection Specialist
The work is not over once you earn the position of fire inspector. To stay up-to-date on fire codes, alarm systems and maintenance, and building plans, you have to take refresher courses to renew your certifications and occasionally take more training courses as well.
Becoming a fire inspector is a long process that requires hard work and dedication. However, there are several ways to get these certificates and continue your fire inspection training online or in person to make this process easier to handle. Talk to your employers about the training courses that may be offered to you locally and where they might recommend getting started online.