Fire Alarm Technician Training Program


During the early 1980's the Canadian Fire Alarm Association established the Fire Alarm Technician Program, leading to personal registration as a fire alarm technician.  It was created to provide training in the specialized area of fire alarm systems, thereby increasing the knowledge level of persons directly or indirectly involved in the fire alarm industry.

This educational program has been approved by various Authorities Having Jurisdiction nationwide and is now widely recognized within the industry.

This describes; the program intent, program structure, individual course content, qualifications for exemptions and CFAA Technician registration information.


Individuals performing fire alarm system inspections, testing, verifications or maintenance must be qualified and accountable for the quality of their work. It follows that there is a need for these individuals to have a minimum level of formal training and verified skills and knowledge in this specific area. The CFAA has created an approved Registered CFAA Trainee Technician program that is comprised of five (5) theory-based courses. To become a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician necessary skills and hands-on training must also be obtained in the workplace through at least one year of on-the-job training under the supervision of a currently Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician.

The combination of theory-based knowledge and workplace experience will together serve to increase the level of competence of fire alarm technicians within the industry.


The CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Program is comprised of five theory-based courses:

Course 1 - An Introduction to the Fire Detection and Alarm Industry
Course 2 - Verbal and Written Communications
Course 3 - Basic Electricity
Course 4 - Life Safety Systems Electronics (LSSE) - replaces Basic Electronics
Course 5 - Fire Alarm Systems

The above courses are available through many community colleges across Canada.

Course 1, Course 3 and Course 5 are also available via correspondence course from the CFAA.

The Association recommends that the courses be completed in the order shown.
In addition the following should be noted:

  • The first four courses are pre-requisite subjects to Course 5 and therefore a student may not enroll into Course 5 without having completed the first four courses.


Course 1 - An Introduction to the Fire Detection and Alarm Industry

This course provides a general understanding of fire alarm protection systems. It discusses the purpose and specific application of the different codes and standards that regulate the industry. It introduces the student to architectural considerations regarding fire containment. Information about testing laboratories, their procedures, testing methods and how listed/approved materials achieve greater degrees of life safety will be covered. Other topics include; the nature of fire, extinguishment methods, fire alarm testing methods, interpretation of drawings, specifications and other contract documents.

Course 2 - Verbal and Written Communications

This course introduces the student to various forms of written business communication including letter, memoranda, summaries and instructions. It teaches practical techniques for planning and writing reports in an effective, professional manner. Editing, spelling, grammar and punctuation are incorporated into the course. By performing in-class assignments the student will learn to present oral reports professionally and to write effectively.

Course 3 - Basic Electricity

This course begins with Basic Electrical theory - Ohm's law, Kirchoff's law, magnetism, energy generation and the dangers of higher A/C voltages. The course then focuses on providing a greater understanding of the Canadian Electrical Code with reference to the following areas:

  • conductors: sizing, insulation types, voltage ratings and other conductor characteristics,
  • how to access the tables regarding conductors and cables i.e. Table 11, 19 and D1
  • grounding of conduit systems and enclosers - Section 10,
  • wiring methods, conduit and cable installation,
  • protection and control of electrical circuits - overcurrent protection (fuses & breakers),
  • disconnecting means, class 1 & 2 circuits - Section 14, and
  • all requirements pertaining to fire alarm systems - Section 32 & 60.

Course 4 - Life Safety Systems Electronics (Replaces previous Basic Electronics)

Study the principles of electronics as they apply to life safety systems, including fire alarms and building automation systems. Examine both analogue and digital systems and their applications. This is a valuable course for all those who work in (or are planning to enter) industries related to the built environment.
This course is an online self-study course, and registration is offered through continuous intake meaning you may register in it at any time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Register in the section (CRN) with the date range that includes the date on which you want to start the course. Keep in mind that your materials will take approximately a week to arrive once you register (as they are sent by courier). You have 120 calendar days from the day you receive the course materials to complete the course. Instructor support via email will be available.

Course 5 - Fire Alarm Systems

Applications of fire alarm systems, operation, testing and inspection requirements outlined by the various Codes and Standards are covered at a more detailed level. Also covered are principles and technology of fire detection devices, signal appliances, control equipment and ancillary devices controlled by the system. The student will learn traditional field wiring circuits, the connection of field devices, the basics of microprocessor based systems using addressable devices and remote annunciation.   Other life safety support systems such as smoke control and elevator recall will also be discussed.




The CFAA administers some of the correspondence courses that make up the Fire Alarm Technician Program. Successful completion of the Fire Alarm Technician Program is a requirement for official registration as a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician.


The five modules and their CFAA availability are:






Introduction To The Fire Detection & Alarm Industry



Verbal & Written Communications

Not at present, Future offering


Basic Electricity



Life Safety Systems Electronics

Not at present, Future offering


Fire Alarm Systems




Registration as a Registered CFAA Trainee Technician

Once a student has successfully completed all five courses, the student may apply for registration as a Registered CFAA Trainee Technician.

Registration as a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician.

Once a student or Registered CFAA Trainee Technician has completed all fire courses, completed at least one year of verified experience under the supervision of a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician and has had their Skills and Knowledge verifed by a sponsor (current Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician the individual may apply to become a Registered CFAAFire Alarm Technician.