Alarm System Contractor and Installer Certification

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The state of Iowa does not regulate portable fire extinguisher inspections or testing. Please check with the local jurisdictions regarding any requirements.

The state of Iowa requires alarm system certification for fire alarm, nurse call, and security alarm systems that "annunciate" a call. Systems, whether hard wired or wireless that send a signal, text, phone call, or the like to local first responders, a monitoring service, security station, or individual require an alarm system license, as defined in Iowa Code 100C found online at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/100c.pdf and Administrative Rules Chapter 277 found online at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/iac/chapter/661.277.pdf. The company installing such systems and their employees must be certified as alarm system contractor and installers. Certifications are also required for maintenance and inspection or testing of these systems.

Certification is NOT required for a company that is providing monitoring services ONLY. Certification is also not required for CCTV and video recording systems or card reader/door access systems ONLY where no notifications are sent. Alarm certification is not required for licensed electricians ONLY when installer wiring and components of an alarm system. Final termination at the alarm panel and all work done with the panel requires an alarm system certification.

Please Note:  Per 661 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 275:  The contractor shall maintain current registration as a contractor with the Labor Services Division of the Iowa Workforce Development Department in compliance with Iowa Code chapter 91C and 875—Chapter 150, Iowa Administrative Code.  Information regarding this program may be found online at https://www.iowadivisionoflabor.gov/contractor-registration

  • Businesses must submit the Alarm System Contractor application form and upload a copy of the most current certificate of liability insurance. The COL must show coverage amounts of $1M per occurrence, $1M property damage, and $500K per person.
  • The responsible managing employee (RME) must submit one fingerprint card by mail at the time of initial application and application for renewal and provide a copy of their current qualifying certification as specified in the matrix below.
  • All technicians employed by the company who intend to work in Iowa must obtain an installer certification.  They must submit one fingerprint card by mail at the time of initial application and application for renewal and provide a copy of their current qualifying certifications as specified in the matrix below in order to obtain certification.
  • All trainees employed by the company who intend to work in Iowa are required to obtain an installer assistant license. Trainees are required to submit one fingerprint card by mail at the time of initial application and upon the third application for renewal of a trainee certification.
Fee Structure for Contractor Certification:
  • $200 certification fee
  • $50 for each endorsement
  • $50 for each responsible managing employee (RME)
  • $35 criminal history background check for each RME
Fee Structure for Installer Certification:
  • $125 certification fee
  • $25 for each endorsement
  • $35 criminal history background check
Fee Structure for Installer Assistant Certification:
  • $50 certification fee
  • $35 criminal history background check (initial application and upon the third application for renewal)
Application Forms

Payments can be made online by debit/credit card or eCheck/ACH or by mailing a check or money order payable to the Iowa State Fire Marshal Division at 215 E 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Certification Program Links:

Responsible Managing Employee Qualifying Certification Matrix
Alarm System Contractor Certification Endorsement Matrix
Responsible Managing Employee Endorsement Qualifying Certification Option(s)
Fire Alarm Systems (1) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level III or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level III or higher in Fire Alarm Designer

Nurse Call Systems (2) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

Certificate of Completion of Training by a Nurse Call System Manufacturer [or]

NICET level II or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician

Security Alarm Systems (3) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level II or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician

Alarm System Maintenance Inspection (4) commercial and residential systems inspection, testing and maintenance only of fire alarm, nurse call, and/or security alarm systems

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level II or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

NICET level II or higher in Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician

Dwelling Unit Alarm Systems (5) ONLY residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm, nurse call, and/or security alarm systems

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician

Installer Qualifying Certification Matrix
Alarm System Installer Certification Endorsement Matrix
Installer Endorsement Qualifying Certification Option(s)
Fire Alarm Systems (1) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level II or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

ESA level II in Certified Fire Alarm Technician [or]

Elite CEU Fire Alarm Installation Techniques

Nurse Call Systems (2) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

Certificate of Completion of Training by a Nurse Call System Manufacturer [or]

Certificate of Completion of Training by a Licensed Nurse Call Contractor [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Iowa Electrical Examining Board Master/Journeyman Electrician License

Security Alarm Systems (3) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Elite CEU Advanced Electronic Intrusion Technician [or]

Complete Electrical Security level I in Electronic Security Technician

Alarm System Maintenance Inspector (4) commercial and residential systems inspection, testing and maintenance only of fire alarm, nurse call, and/or security alarm systems

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

NICET level I or higher in Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Complete Electrical Security level I in Electronic Security Technician

Dwelling Unit Alarm Systems (5) ONLY residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm, nurse call, and/or security alarm systems

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Elite CEU Alarm Level 1 [or]

Iowa Electrical Examining Board Master/Journeyman Electrician License [or]

Complete Electrical Security level I in Electronic Security Technician

Alarm System Components (6) commercial and residential systems including installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm, nurse call, and/or security alarm systems

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

NICET level I or higher in Fire Alarm Systems [or]

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Iowa Electrical Examining Board Master/Journeyman Electrician License

Installer Assistant (7) 100% supervised by licensed installer or RME while working Trainee in the process of obtaining one of the required certifications to become a licensed installer.

 

Criminal History Check Requirements:

State Fire Marshal policy on criminal history background checks for alarm contractors, alarm installers, alarm installer assistants, commercial explosives contractors, and individual blasters effective October 1, 2019:

National criminal history check: criminal history background checks shall be conducted for alarm system contractors, alarm system installers, commercial explosives contractors, and individual blasters upon application for licensure and at the time of renewal.
 
State and Federal criminal history background checks shall be provided on the third (3) year of an alarm system installer assistants’ annual renewal.

All persons making application or renewal shall complete the criminal charge/arrest questions on the Waiver of Agreement and Statement. Failure to comply will result in denial of your license.

 

Fingerprint cards may be obtained from the Fire Marshal Division or local law enforcement offices. Ink and printed Live Scan fingerprint cards are accepted.  Please email sfmlicense@dps.state.ia.us to request fingerprint cards.