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How Will You Answer These Questions About Residential Fire Alarms?

Posted By Michelle Yungblut, Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014


How will your company show compliance with NFPA 72 10.5.2? How will your technicians answer a mother’s question "How do you know this is the best fire safety system to protect my family?” ESA’s National Training School (NTS) seven-hour Residential Fire Alarm (RFA) course will make answering those vital questions very easy.

Did you know that the Residential Fire Alarm course is one of our lowest selling courses? This news dismayed the  ESA Board of Directors at its recent meeting. Training and Certification staff and the Standards and Fire/Life Safety Committee are now tasked to find ways to communicate the importance of this course to our members. In 2012, residential fires killed 2,405 people in the U.S. according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). That is 97 percent of all structural fire deaths. Those statistics alone are reason enough why technicians need to be trained on the proper installation and service of residential fire systems. These are not lick and stick systems. There are very specific codes and standards that must be complied with in order for the systems to work properly.

One code that is especially significant is NFPA 72 10.5.2 that states "Fire alarm systems and emergency communications systems installation personnel shall be qualified or shall be supervised by persons who are qualified in the installation, inspection, and testing of the systems.” Qualified is later defined as "one or more of the following: (1) Personnel who are registered, licensed, or certified by a state or local authority (2) personnel who are certified by a nationally recognized certification organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction (3) Personnel who are factory trained and certified for fire alarm system installation and/or emergency communications system installation of the specific type and brand of system and who are acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.”

Another requirement of NFPA 72 is that all household fire alarm systems must be inspected annually. The premise owner is responsible for the maintenance of the system. Rick Simpson, chair of ESA's Standards and Fire/Life Safety Committee, shares that "this is a tremendous opportunity to assist the homeowner in ensuring it meets this requirement. A household fire alarm system should be inspected and serviced by a qualified technician as defined in NFPA 72.”

ESA’s Residential Fire Alarm course will not only help you comply with NFPA requirements, but it will also help you train technical staff on the different types of residential fire systems, circuits and testing required. That way you can answer that mother’s questions and provide a level of safety and security for that family.

Please contact your local state Chapter to request RFA or contact ESA/NTS’s national office at or

Tags:  course  education  nts  nts news  residential fire alarm  rfa  training 

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