I have been looking for a school that can certify me to become a fire inspector. I live in NC but don't really care where I end up. Does anyone know how long it takes to get certified to the point were you could actually get a job? Any help would be appreciated.
First, start with your local and state agencies. Secondly, find the minimum requirements for the positions, then exceed them. Good luck...
You can obtain certification for Fire Inspector I and II, as well as Fire Plans Examiner through the International Code Council, the agency which publishes the International Building Codes, and oversees certification of building inspectors/code enforcement inspectors. IFSAC gives a reciprocal certification for FI I and FI II.
FI I is pretty easy to get without any formal classes. You need a copy of IFSTA's 6th edition of "Fire Inspections and Code Enforcement", a copy of the International Fire Code, and a copy of the International Building Code. It's about 150 bucks in books, and the cost of taking the exam.
I just finished FI 1 at Cleveland Community College. Not a difficult class, although it was 8-6 Saturday and Sunday for 2 weeks. Here's how I understand it:
Entry level, you need to take the Level I Fire Inspector course. You also need to take a course in Law and Administration to sit for the state test.
Once you pass the state test, Raleigh may issue you a provisional Level I license. This is good for 2 years. I'm not sure the details surrounding getting a full blown Level I.
If you have a 2 year degree in Fire Science / Fire Protection / Fire Engineering you can go straight into a Level II provisional license.
If you have a 4 year, you can get a Level III provisional.
Contact the NC Dept of Insurance / State Fire Marshalls Office to get a copy of the NC Fire Prevention Code. It costs $45 with the updates (called the blue pages), but be aware that a 2006 edition comes out in January '07. I would strongly recommend ordering this book at least 2 weeks before the class starts, as it takes Raleigh some time to ship code books.
You will also need to contact the UNC School of Government's Publications department to purchase a book called "Legal Aspects of Building Code Enforcement in North Carolina". It's about $14. You will need this for your Law & Admin course.
The courses are intense. It would be advisable to be familiar with the layout of the code book before the course starts.
Best of luck.
Hey guys to clarify some info. After taking the NC Fire Prevention 1 and Law and Admin class you can apply to the Code council for your Level 1 probationary certificate. You must have this probationary cert. for 6 months before sitting for the state exam. Then you can take the Level 1 state exam. This exam is very difficult, it really doesnt test what you know but rather where to find it and interpret in the book. After passing the state level 1 they will issue your standard cert for level 1. After recieving this you can apply for the Level 2 probationary cert. Hope this helps. I just transferred from the engine into a fire inspector job in june so i am up on the process. If you would like you can contact me offline for further questions my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.