Sep. 24, 2018

HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) and other members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees held an informational meeting about the certification of fire equipment distributors.

Information from the hearing will be used when considering Senate Bill 1178, which would ensure that a specific level of competency is provided for the installation and service of portable fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and building fire alarm systems, and similar bills offered by Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) as House Bill 2649 and Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh).

“It’s important to prevent fires not only to avoid lost lives of victims, but also those of our first responders who run into danger to save people,” Barrar said. “It’s a no-brainer to avoid circumstances that cost us lives and lots of money.”

Many testifiers spoke about the importance of enacting legislation with requirements for people who install and/or service fire equipment, as none is currently required.

“At this time, a license is required to paint someone else’s fingernails, but no license is required to design and install life-saving fire protection equipment. The consequence to the Commonwealth is reduced public safety,” John Morely Jr. said, who personally sells, designs installs, repairs, inspects and tests water-based fire protection sprinkler systems.

While certification is not required, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) provides an opportunity for professional certification. The four training levels coordinate with the worker’s experience and distinguishes him or her from the not-yet qualified.

“Even though people agreed that it’s important to provide safety from fires, there are different opinions on how best to accomplish that critical goal,” Barrar said. “I will weigh the pros and cons of each option to make the most informed decision.”

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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