The qualifications to become a fire prevention officer may vary from one jurisdiction to another, but most places will require you to at least complete a high school education. Possessing an appropriate amount of fire science, prevention and safety training will also be required. In addition, you will likely be required to be certified in code inspection, as well as have adequate work experience with an actual fire department. It is also likely that you will have to pass an examination process to demonstrate your knowledge and competency in performing the duties of an officer. Courses relevant to helping you become a fire prevention officer may be offered at select community colleges, trade schools and universities.
In certain areas, you may be hired to become a fire prevention officer yet only work on a probationary status while you complete further fire prevention officer training. The length of this probationary period and training may vary, but it may take as long as a year and a half. If this is the case, you will be required to fulfill your job requirements as well as all course requirements related to your specialized training.
Other skills necessary for this line of work include the ability to work well in a quiet office environment as well as a noisy and chaotic environment in instances of emergency situations. The ability to seamlessly shift between two such environments is very important. Individuals working in fire prevention officer careers must also be flexible with their time, as well as very organized, able to work well with others and be able to handle working on multiple tasks at one time.
Excellent reading and comprehension skills are also necessary to become a fire prevention officer. Very strict rules and policies must not only be adhered to, but you must know how to appropriately interpret and explain these policies to others. As an officer, you will be required to work with a variety of people who may have questions about procedures. You must not only be knowledgeable about these procedures, but must know how to convey them verbally and in print in such a way as to help others clearly understand and abide by them as well.
Assuring that you have the ability to interpret complex blueprints and building plans is also of extreme importance if you plan to become a fire prevention officer. Maintaining communication and good working relationships with various contractors and engineers is also an expectation of anyone hoping to embark upon this type of career. Additionally, you must be able to identify code violations or potential violations and take initiative in pointing these things out so that they may be safely corrected.