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Fire protection technicians design, test and inspect fire protection systems.
They're familiar with fire prevention practices and procedures. They know
what it takes to protect buildings from fires.
They're experts in installing, testing and maintaining fire protection
equipment. They're aware of the rules for equipment and building safety.
They work as consultants, municipal fire inspectors or fire prevention
officers for local fire departments. Or they could be in-house designers for
companies that produce and sell fire alarm systems, smoke control systems
or sprinkler systems. They also work at most airports.
Insurance companies also hire fire protection technicians to investigate
house fires and calculate potential insurance liabilities.
Fire protection technicians also work in labs. They design and test new
fire protection devices. They start controlled fires to measure the effectiveness
of these devices. They may also test the flammability of products for government
This aspect of the industry makes the profession of fire protection technician
accessible to those who suffer from some physical disabilities -- but only
to a certain extent.
Eugenio Marotta is the chief of a fire prevention unit. He says fire technicians
must have a certain level of physical fitness because they spend a lot of
time away from their offices and labs.
"You may be exposed to the usual construction site's hazards," he says.
"So you have to have a certain dexterity and ability to move around."
Fire protection technicians mostly work 9 to 5. But working hours may vary.
They may be on call, and may have to work odd hours if they have to inspect
buildings or investigate fires, Marotta says.
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