Alarm System Licensing Programs

Billboard image reading Important Changes See Below for Details on Administrative Rule Changes

Iowa 661 Administrative Rules Chapter 277 changes adopted and filed February 17, 2021
(Effective:  April 1, 2021)

The state of Iowa requires licensing for the installation, inspection, maintenance, or testing of all 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 and Administrative Rules Chapter 277.  A company installing and/or testing such systems and their employees must be licensed as alarm system contractors and technicians.

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

Licensing program requirement highlights:

  • All contractors who intend to work in Iowa are required to obtain a contractor license.  
  • Contractors must list at least one responsible managing employee (RME) and provide a copy of their current qualifying certification as specified in the matrix below.
  • Contractors shall obtain and maintain current registration (or obtain a written exemption) as a "construction contractor" with the Labor Services Division in compliance with Iowa Code chapter 91C and Iowa Administrative Code 875-Chapter 150.  Information regarding this program may be found by clicking on the Iowa Division of Labor - Contractor Registration Quick Link above.
  • Contractors must provide a copy of the most current certificate of liability insurance on the ACORD form. The ACORD form must show coverage amounts of $1M per occurrence, $1M property damage, and $500K per person.
  • All technicians who intend to work in Iowa are required to obtain a technician license under a licensed contractor.  They must provide a copy of their current qualifying certifications as specified in the matrix below.
  • All technician trainees who intend to work in Iowa are required to obtain a technician trainee license under a licensed contractor and be supervised 100% of the time on the job site by a licensed responsible managing employee or licensed technician licensed under the scope of work authorized by the license. 

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Fee Structure for Contractor License
  • $200 license fee
  • $50 for each endorsement
  • $50 for each responsible managing employee (RME)
  • $35 criminal history background check for each RME
Fee Structure for Technician License
  • $125 license fee
  • $25 for each endorsement
  • $35 criminal history background check
Fee Structure for Technician Trainee License
  • $50 certification fee
  • $35 criminal history background check (initial application and upon the third application for renewal)
Application Forms

Application Packets:

 

Individual Forms:

Responsible Managing Employee Qualifying Certification Matrix
A contractor that does installation and maintenance inspection must select the both endorsements for installation and maintenance inspection on the application.
Responsible Managing Employee Endorsement Qualifying Certification Option(s)
Fire alarm system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

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

ESA level III in Certified Fire Alarm Designer [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Nurse call system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

Certificate of Completion of Training from System Manufacturer for each system worked on [or]

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

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Security alarm system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

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

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Alarm system maintenance inspection (maintenance inspection of commercial fire alarm, nurse call, security alarm, and/or dwelling unit 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 [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Dwelling unit alarm system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

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

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Technician Qualifying Certification Matrix
A technician who does installation and maintenance inspection must select the both endorsements for installation and maintenance inspection on the application.
Installer Endorsement Qualifying Certification Option(s)
Fire alarm system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

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

ESA level II in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Elite CEU certification in Fire Alarm Installation Techniques [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Nurse call system installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

Certificate of Completion of Training from System Manufacturer for each system worked on [or]

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

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Licensed Master Electrician or Journeyman Electrician in Iowa [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Security alarm system installation

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 certification in Advanced Electronic Intrusion Technician [or]

Complete Electrical Academy level I in Electronic Security Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Alarm system component installation

Professional Engineer Licensed in Iowa [or]

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

ESA level I in Certified Alarm Technician [or]

Licensed Master Electrician or Journeyman Electrician in Iowa [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Alarm system maintenance inspection (maintenance inspection of commercial fire alarm, nurse call, security alarm, and/or dwelling unit 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 Academy level I in Electronic Security Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Dwelling unit alarm system installation

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 certification in Alarm Level I [or]

Complete Electrical Academy level I in Electronic Security Technician [or]

Satisfactory completion of an applicable training or testing program that has been approved by the state fire marshal prior to application

Technician Trainee 100% supervised by licensed technician or RME while working Trainee in the process of obtaining one of the required certifications to become a licensed technician for installation and/or maintenance inspection.

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 and mailed to Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Attention: SFM Licensing Administration, 215 E 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Certification Program Links: