Electricians vs. Fire Alarm Technicians: Which is Better for Commercial Fire Alarm Safety Needs and Why?

Fire alarm systems are an important investment in your building. Whether you’re looking to design a new system or replace an old one, it’s hard to know who to turn to for the best, most qualified service. You’ve likely come across fire alarm technicians and electricians in your search for a partner, but which is better to take care of your fire alarm system? If you get it wrong, the results could be physically and financially disastrous.

Certification requirements can overlap in some areas, but there are distinct differences due to the specialized nature of fire alarm systems. Let’s see how fire alarm technicians and electricians differ.

What’s the difference between a fire alarm technician and an electrician?

Scope: Electricians work with various electrical systems, including wiring, lighting, power distribution and HVAC systems. Fire alarm technicians focus specifically on fire alarm systems, which involve installing, maintaining and repairing components such as smoke detectors, control panels, notification devices and communication systems.

Certification Focus: Any fire alarm technician should have earned their NICET Fire Alarm Systems certification or NFPA 72 certification. To handle their expanded scope of work, fully certified electricians like those at RK Electrical need certifications that go above and beyond what’s needed for fire alarm systems. This offers the ability to have one partner for all your needs rather than multiple partners.

Training Emphasis: Fire alarm technicians receive specialized training solely focused on fire alarm technology and compliance with fire safety regulations. On the other hand, electricians undergo that training and more to focus on a number of other services such as safety protocols, electrical theory and building codes.

Regulatory Requirements: Both electricians and fire alarm technicians must comply with regulatory requirements, but the specific regulations they must follow can differ. Electricians must adhere to electrical codes set by organizations such as the National Electrical Code (NEC). Fire alarm technicians must comply with fire codes and standards established by organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Which is better for designing, installing and servicing my nonresidential fire alarm system?

Electricians have a wider skillset and abilities to work on multiple systems while fire alarm technicians are more narrowly focused and specialized. But what if you could have a partner with the certifications required for both electricians AND fire alarm technicians? That’s what makes RK Electrical the clear choice for businesses in the Colorado Front Range.

RK Electrical’s experts aren’t simply fire alarm technicians; they’re fully certified electricians. We’re proud to have earned certifications by Pikes Peak Regional, Denver Blue Card and NICET 1, 2 and 3. Our commitment to continuing education means our team will always be current with the certifications needed to be your sole partner. For example, a fire alarm technician can’t troubleshoot your system if they find an issue during routine maintenance or inspection. You’ll need to consult an electrician, but why complicate your project with multiple companies when you can use one? Our comprehensive certifications give you the benefit of a turnkey solution, no matter what the unexpected brings. 

How RK Electrical can help

RK Electrical can design, install, replace, upgrade, test and maintain AES radios. We handle everything from recommending electrical devices to running wire and installing conduit and raceways to provide comprehensive services that your system needs to function at its best, including:

– Electrical components, such as device terminations, copper conductors and distribution boards.

– Physical hardware like metal conduit, mounting brackets and raceways.

– Commissioning and inspection services for reliability assurance.

We work on any brand, including popular fire alarm systems like Notifier from Honeywell and EST by Edwards. To keep you confident, we also provide a service warranty that includes testing and maintenance for one year.

Why you can trust us

RK Industries is a family business with roots tracing back to 1963. Established in 2015 as part of RK’s continuously expanding construction services, RK Electrical has become a leading commercial electrical contractor that specializes in the installation and maintenance of fire alarm networks for a wide variety of customers.

How to get started

Let’s have a conversation! Contact us to review your needs and see how we can partner to keep your people and property safe.