As per the New York City regulations, it is important to have a fire safety director in a building occupied by more than 100 people. This rule applies to all office buildings, hotels, public buildings and civil services as well. The fire safety director takes responsibility to plan and manage various safety operations for the workers and visitors on the premises. Other than this, they create adequate evacuation plans as per the location and premises. These professionals can also organize training for the other members of the team.
If you are interested in becoming a fire safety director, it is first important to get an F-58 certificate. It is basically a certificate of fitness that you can avail from the New York Fire Department. Note that it is not that easy to get this certificate; you may have to complete your training, pass the exam and take a site test as well.
Essential criteria for the fire safety director course:
In order to become a certified fire safety director, you should first meet certain eligibility requirements. The most important aspect is that the candidate must be t least 18 years old to apply for the course. Also, the applicant must have a high school diploma or an equivalent education certificate. One should also demonstrate a minimum of three years’ experience in the fire prevention department. The candidate is also required to present a notarized affidavit from the previous or current employer to state that you have relevant experience as a fire watch guard.
Completion of training:
The first most important step towards obtaining certification is to complete the training course in the field of fire safety. Make sure that the course you join is accredited by FDNY. As per government recommendations, the course must cover 20 hours of instruction along with two hours of practical work.
Once the training is over, you may have to take a test and earn a minimum passing score of 70%. It is allowed to take the test two times for a candidate to achieve the desired percentage. In case if you fail to pass the course in the second attempt as well, you may have to join the course again. When you get the diploma, you can apply for the fire safety director exam.
Take your exam:
After completion of the course, you have to take an exam to get the certification to work as a fire safety director. This test can be scheduled online. You can pay the fee via the online portal and then bring all your eligibility related documents to the exam location.
Usually, the computer-based tests take almost three hours, and they include 100 multiple choice questions related to fire systems, regulations, training and emergency procedures. In order to obtain the completion certificate, you need to score minimum of 70% marks.
In order to book the test schedule, you can take help from your building manager or supervisor. During the exam, the examiner may present different fire hazard scenarios in front of you and will ask you for your quick response to handle the situation. The candidate needs to give detailed practical demonstrations for all activities. They may also need to operate an elevator to handle the emergency situation.
Working as a fire safety director:
Once you are able to crack the exam and obtain the required certification, you can apply for the post of fire safety director. This position requires you to accomplish a specific set of responsibilities. The hiring committee will go through your resume to get complete details about your skills and abilities for this position. Along with the extensive knowledge of fire safety procedures, you may also need to present critical thinking skills and communication skills as well.
There are several industries that may require fire safety directors to manage their routine fire safety operations. They are also expected to have skills relevant to dire safety plans, emergency situation management and fire command station. These skills may help you better while handling various tough responsibilities at the job site. While working as a fire safety director, you can ensure a great salary package. But at the same time, you have to work actively to prevent the premises form hazards associated with fire outbreaks.