When a building fire breaks out, or a burglar breaks in, the people involved want to be alerted as soon as possible. Security and fire alarm systems installers ensure that alarm systems operate correctly and provide the margin of time that home and business owners need to set emergency procedures in motion and prevent major damage. Installers use electrical layouts from blueprints and building plans to connect sensors, video cameras, and control panels into the electrical system of the building, making sure that fires or burglars are unable to escape detection. They mount wiring, program the system, test circuits, and install backup batteries, to create an airtight security or fire prevention system. Customer service and communication skills are important, as installers frequently work in customers’ homes, and need to understand the unique aspects of a property or of owners’ habits. Home and commercial security firms are the predominant employer for security and fire alarm systems installers. A high school education is typically required, and many installers have a related technical credential.
Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. They combine knowledge of engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.
What Do Fire Protection Systems / Sprinklerfitter Installers Do?
Health and safety engineers typically do the following:
- Maintain and apply knowledge of current health and safety policies, regulations, and industrial processes
- Review plans and specifications for new machinery and equipment to make sure that they meet safety requirements
- Identify and correct potential hazards by inspecting facilities, machinery, and safety equipment
- Evaluate the effectiveness of various industrial control mechanisms
- Ensure that buildings or products comply with health and safety regulations, especially after an inspection that required changes
- Install safety devices on machinery or direct the installation of these devices
- Review employee safety programs and recommend improvements
Health and safety engineers also investigate industrial accidents and injuries to determine their causes and to determine whether the incidents were avoidable or can be prevented in the future. They interview employers and employees to learn about work environments and incidents that lead to accidents or injuries. They also evaluate the corrections that were made to remedy violations found during health inspections.
Health and safety engineering is a broad field covering many activities. The following are examples of types of health and safety engineers:
Fire prevention and protection engineers conduct analyses and make recommendations regarding the potential fire hazards of buildings, materials, and transportation systems. They also design, install, and maintain fire prevention and suppression systems and inspect systems to ensure that they meet government safety regulations. Fire prevention and protection engineers must be licensed and must keep up with changes in fire codes and regulations.
Product safety engineers, sometimes called product compliance engineers, develop and conduct tests to make sure that various products are safe and comply with industry or government safety regulations. These engineers work on a wide range of products, from nuclear submarine reactors and robotics to cell phones and computer systems.
Systems safety engineers identify and analyze risks and hazards associated with system designs in order to make them safe while ensuring that the systems remain operational and effective. They work in many fields, including aerospace, and are moving into new fields, such as software safety, medical safety, and environmental safety.
For information on health and safety engineers who work in mines, see the profile on mining and geological engineers.