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Date: August 15, 2014 Author: Brandon Winters

In movies and TV shows that involve firefighting, fire safety officers are rarely as well portrayed as firefighters that rush to blazes and extinguish the flames. This is because safety officers typically work behind the scenes, handling administrative duties and arriving at fire scenes to investigate fire origins. However, the work of fire officers is as important as the work of firefighters and requires you to possess certain skills and knowledge to succeed at the position.

Communication Skills

Because part of their job involves giving public presentations to schools and other organizations, fire safety officers need excellent communication skills. In many cases, people that gravitate towards the position are already good communicators. For those who need to develop better communication skills, classes in public speaking and other areas of communications can help.

Knowledge of Fire Codes

Fire officers investigate buildings to see if they comply with state and municipal fire codes. This commonly involves inspecting the sprinkler system, inspecting the emergency backup lighting system and determining whether the building has the right safety implements (e.g. luminescent markings) in its egress paths. This knowledge can be learned from a fire officer handbook.

Read Blueprints and Building Plans

Fire officers must be able to read blueprints and building plans to perform fire code inspections and assess fire scenes. There are several educational resources that can teach you to read blueprints and building plans, including fire officer books that teach aspiring fire officers the skills they need in the field and books that focus exclusively on reading blueprints and building plans.

Leadership Skills

Fire safety officers are responsible for creating policies and procedures for fire department personnel. These policies and procedures are employed in the field and must have the support of firefighters. This is where leadership skills come into play. A fire safety officer who cultivates leadership skills has an increased ability to lead firefighters through the creation and implementation of policies and procedures.

Ability to Work Fire Scenes

Fire safety officers may have the skills and knowledge they need to interpret a fire scene, but they also need the ability to confront and process what they find there. Some fire scenes are straightforward and only involve damage to the building, while others include human casualties. Fire safety officers must be prepared to see graphic evidence when they arrive at the scene.    

Firefighting Experience

Many municipalities require a safety officer to have at least three years of paid or voluntary firefighting experience. This is in addition to receiving a high school diploma or GED and passing the necessary tests to become a fire safety officer. If you plan to become a fire safety officer, now is the time to start getting the experience you need to transition to the position.

Check Out Our Bookstore

Firebooks provides the books firefighters need to attain knowledge needed in their occupation. We carry a wide variety of books for aspiring fire safety officers to help them gain the skills and knowledge they need for the job, including a fire officer’s handbook of tactics and other fire officer books that contain crucial information. If you are a firefighter who is on your way to being a fire safety officer and you need educational materials, visit our online bookstore today.
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