#132 – Tips to Increase Your Inspection, Testing & Maintenance Knowledge

by Lisa Salzman

When fires start, the work of a fire protection professional impacts life and death. As the keeper of knowledge, experience, wisdom, expertise and professionalism in the Industry, you need to know what you are doing and why.

The lenses through which I view learning and teaching has changed through the years. Fire Tech Productions’ founder, Dale Thompson, saw the goal of instruction as instilling confidence. Our vision today remains to encourage by promoting interpretation of the requirements in the code while combining in-the-field applications.

That is:

HOW you do what you do + WHY to do what you do = A better technician and more lives and property saved.

We train hundreds of students a year in our hands-on workshops. In a typical class, there are always students unfamiliar with the NFPA standards. From phone conversations to classroom chats to industry events, we hear the same thing, “I can’t find good people, I can’t find qualified people.” Well, it’s up to all of us to make sure the codes are not only available but also understood by our teams, which means our teams are actively and continually learning.

Tips to increase your Inspection, Testing & Maintenance Knowledge:

  1. Practice when you can. If you have an opportunity to “play” with a valve, reset or trip a system, tear a sprinkler component apart, DO IT!

  1. Read NFPA 25 every day. Seriously – Set aside just 5 minutes every day to pick up NFPA 25 and read a section. Perhaps in time you could increase to 10 – 15 minutes but start the habit of reading every day.

  1. Seek out Industry Articles. Google “Fire Sprinkler Inspections” and see what pops up. Make it a goal to read 2 or 3 online articles a week.

  1. Read FPC Magazine every month!

  1. Are you a podcast listener? If so, be sure to add a fire protection podcast to your list. Fire Protection Podcast and The Fire Sprinkler Podcast are a couple choices. If you are not, try some podcasts in 2020. Listen to a podcast when you are getting ready for work, while you are driving or while you are taking a walk. Heck, if fitness is one of your 2020 Goals, combine the walk with a podcast and you’ve hit two goals in the same chunk of time!
  2. Attend a regional or national conference. There are many great presenters and many learning opportunities at the industry conferences.
  3. Social Media – There are several great fire protection groups on Facebook. Join these and check out the content in these groups once or twice a week.

  1. Prepare for your NICET Certification. NICET Certification has helped 1000s get a raise, attain a job, land a contract, and accomplish many other career-advancing moves. Visit www.nicet.org to learn more.

Fire Tech is a NICET recognized training provider

  1. If possible, shadow an expert and/or find a mentor. Having someone to turn to with questions and someone to rely on can help you continue to learn and gain confidence.
  2. Visit https://firetech.com
    • Review the Fire Tech Monthly Tip (https://firetech.com/fire-tech-tips/). Not all Fire Tech Tips contain Inspection & Testing content, but they are all geared to the Fire Protection Industry.

    • Join a Fire Tech Productions Workshop. Fire Tech offers a variety of hands-on courses featuring the hows and whys of NFPA 25.

Sprinkler Systems workshop Hastings Michigan