Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers

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Also known as:
Alarm Adjuster, Alarm Technician, Burglar Alarm Installer, Fire Alarm Installer, Fire Alarm Technician, Home Security Alarm Installer

ABOUT SECURITY AND FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS INSTALLER CAREERS
Video transcript

Protecting property from fire requires a quick response from emergency services, but they can only respond when they know there's a problem. Rather than wait for someone to call in an emergency, many people choose to install alarm systems that send out an alert immediately. Alarm systems are also used to protect property from theft. Just seeing that there's a security system in place can make a criminal decide to choose another target.

Security and fire alarm system installers therefore play an important role in protecting society. They install, service, and maintain security and fire alarms and complete systems to detect and signal smoke, fire, intrusion, break-in, or movement.

The skills needed to use the tools involved can be learned in technical or vocational school, but on-the-job training on a specific system is necessary. In many states, you'll need to pass an exam to obtain a license.

As most of the work is done in homes and businesses where people live and work, you must be able to communicate well. You might have to field questions about how the system functions. The instillation might require bending and twisting or climbing ladders to reach access points, so physical agility is important along with precision. It also helps if you are not afraid of heights.

This is a job that often requires problem-solving skills, as each installation comes with its own unique set of challenges. Along with the satisfaction of a job well done, comes the knowledge that you're helping to protect people and businesses.

SNAPSHOT
Install, program, maintain, and repair security and fire alarm wiring and equipment. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Order replacement parts.

Examine systems to locate problems, such as loose connections or broken insulation.

Adjust sensitivity of units, based on room structures and manufacturers' recommendations, using programming keypads.

Mount raceways and conduits and fasten wires to wood framing, using staplers.

Feed cables through access holes, roof spaces, or cavity walls to reach fixture outlets, positioning and terminating cables, wires, or strapping.

Keep informed of new products and developments.

Test backup batteries, keypad programming, sirens, or other security features to ensure proper functioning or to diagnose malfunctions.

Demonstrate systems for customers and explain details, such as the causes and consequences of false alarms.

Drill holes for wiring in wall studs, joists, ceilings, or floors.

Inspect installation sites and study work orders, building plans, and installation manuals to determine materials requirements and installation procedures.

Mount and fasten control panels, door and window contacts, sensors, or video cameras, and attach electrical and telephone wiring to connect components.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
TOP SKILLS
Installation Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.