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Individuals who receive a fire extinguisher certification are trained to use and maintain portable fire extinguishers. The certification involves training, hands-on experience and the successful completion of a series of examinations designed to test your ability to serve as fire extinguisher technician in an emergency. Some states, such as Georgia and New Jersey, require all fire equipment technicians to complete a fire extinguisher technician certification.
There are several organizations that provide fire extinguisher certifications, such as Fire Protection Certification Ltd. and the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors, or NAFED. NAFED has become an industry standard with some states requiring all fire extinguisher technicians to complete the NAFED course. The NAFED fire extinguisher technician exams are administered by the International Code Council, which provides certification testing for several other professions.
The fire extinguisher technician certification raises the standard of fire extinguisher technicians by setting a nationwide standard for all technicians. This increases the safety and quality standards of organizations that use fire extinguisher technicians. The certification can also be used as a marketing tool to assure clients that your fire extinguishers are manned by operators whose knowledge and experience has been tested.
There are several types of certification a technician can test for. Which one is best for you or your staff will depend on your organization and the type of fire extinguishers you use. Under the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors, there are certification courses in portable fire extinguishers, pre-engineered kitchen fire extinguishing systems, pre-engineered industrial fire extinguishing systems and engineered fire suppression systems.
Fire extinguisher technician certifications use a variety of official resources as references. These include the International Fire Code, the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, Codes and Standards and literature from the Compressed Gas Association. The main NFPA regulations dealing with fire extinguisher technicians are codes 10 and 17: the standards for portable fire extinguishers and the standards for dry chemical extinguishing systems.
Andrew Latham has worked as a professional copywriter since 2005 and is the owner of LanguageVox, a Spanish and English language services provider. His work has been published in "Property News" and on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, SFGate. Latham holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a diploma in linguistics from Open University.