Updated: Jul 21
In the field of fire protection, designing of fire detection and alarm system is very critical to the safety of the occupants, fire emergency personnel, firemen and the building itself. Without the proper knowledge from the correct references such as IBC, IFC and NFPA standards or other standards, designer cannot provide the reliable design to its client most especially when we talk about the budget.
Mostly, designing of fire alarm is not for free to everyone even if you Google whole day searching for free training. This is why i created a channel where I encourage people to watch my videos for fire alarm design tutorial for free here https://www.youtube.com/c/AllaboutFireProtection and my official website https://www.allaboutfireprotection.net/.
I still remember when I first started working as a fire alarm engineer as my first career after I got my licensed as engineer. I thought this job will be easy for me since I won't be working a lot in electronics work which I supposed to work If I will pursue my field as licensed electronics engineer. I also thought that this job will be kind of boring for me. I tried applying to a lot of electronic companies while working hoping that I might still change my path to my career. But destiny keeps me stay and finally decided to give myself a chance.
I started doing a maintenance of fire alarm in many buildings like commercial, industrial and high rise. I learned how to conduct PPM of fire alarm in accordance to NFPA which is very new to me at that time. I also enjoyed doing a troubleshoot work if there is a fault in a system.
During that time, I thought that I already got whatever I need in fire alarm and I am ready now to explore more on what this system can give. And then I decided to work abroad to apply my experience. I worked with a lot of different brands of fire alarm. I learned how to program a fire alarm control panel, do the wiring and conduct a complete testing and commissioning.
Finally when I felt that I got all I need in installation, testing and commissioning including maintenance, I decided to look for a fire alarm job but this time my target is to work in design.
Someone told me that if I will work in design, I should have learned Autocad at least otherwise no company will hire me. So, I enrolled in CAD center in Philippines and when I got my certificate, I look for a designer position abroad.
I made it with my first application, but I started working as a draftsman since I failed in one qualification that I should be familiar with NFPA 72 for design. My first few days in design when i first started is very tough for me. I'm too slow working in cad even I am just working with 2D drawings since it's my first design job. Another is was taking notes to every standards from NFPA 72 my designer told me to do.
Good thing is I have a good knowledge in installation of fire alarm and it saves me time because I am already familiar with the type of devices and where these devices installed mostly. Reading NFPA 72 that time is like, teaching me why the fire alarm devices are installed in that manner especially about the spacing between devices and mounting height which I don't know earlier.
I handled a lot of projects in design later which made me a designer too and feel more confident with my work. I enjoyed reading codes and standards. Mostly I am attending meeting with consultant and client to discuss shop drawing. These experiences that I had made me think that what I decided at my start of my career is the greatest decision I made.
I realize that as a fire alarm or fire protection designer, we are one of the people in the world who make sure that the building is safe for occupants at all times from fire. Thus, I'm proud to say that I was not just hired to help my employer and sustain my needs, but I am helping too to ensure the safety of people in building at all times.
I also found it hard before to search for a free training modules online when i was still learning. So guys, i prepared a lot of videos in my youtube channel free for everyone who are willing to learn fire alarm design for free here https://www.youtube.com/c/AllaboutFireProtection.