Fire Alarm & Life Safety Systems Technician

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC.

This is an entry level position.

Job Summary:

As a Fire Alarm and Life Safety Technician I, the incumbent will assist more senior co-workers in the installation, monitoring, and modification of automated building systems and equipment across the Laboratory such as fire alarms and building evacuation system equipment. The incumbent will read meters, monitor equipment, and other electronic testing equipment; record readings; and report to their supervisor any observations that may signal a change in expected performance.

The incumbent will work with other skilled service trade staff members and take instruction from their supervisor or designated functional leader. Assignments are closely supervised.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task):

Under the direction and guidance of more senior co-workers:

  • Install system components; programs, tests, and maintains fire alarm and life safety systems; monitor system operation and performance under start-up, day-to-day, and unusual/emergency conditions. Determine compatibility of fire alarm devices (power supplies, cables, smoke detectors, interface modules, manual pull stations) with existing building systems. Determine locations and appropriate fire alarm input and output devices to meet Howard County and NFPA Codes. (50%)
  • Troubleshoot system malfunctions; repair and replace components to restore system to fully compliant operations promptly. Maintain Network Command Center computer systems. Respond to operational questions concerning system capability. Modify system hardware and software programs to meet operational requirements. (30%)
  • Identify materials, labor, and equipment resources needed to modify detection and alarm systems for special facilities. Maintain and update diagrams, prints, drawings, and schematics of system expansions and modifications. (20%)

Performance of all of the job responsibilities cited above in all campus buildings or structures, including those which house laboratories which handle special materials, is an essential function of this job.

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.Required Qualifications:

  • High school diploma, or the math and language skill set equivalent to that of a high school graduate.
  • Completion of formal trade school training in at least one of the following: Electronics, Electrical maintenance and construction, or related discipline; or have at least two years of relevant on-the-job experience in the trade or a combination of both.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of rules, regulations, and guidelines of applicable codes and to read and understand meters and various types of monitoring equipment such as CO2 monitors, electrical meters, and volt-ohm meters.
  • Possess trade-related math skills appropriate for this level of work; be able to read, write, and understand written and spoken English; and be familiar with the use of schematics and plans.
  • Possess a working knowledge of personal computers and basic applications. Demonstrated proficiency in use of Microsoft Office applications.
  • Possess a valid state-of- residence driver's license.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with Siemens fire alarm software and programming

Special Working Conditions:

  • Working hours may be 7:00AM to 3:30PM; adjusted or additional hours may be required during peak work load time and occasional weekend support for customer driven outages.
  • Operation of APL vehicles.
  • Newly-hired staff receive regularly-scheduled certification safety training as required by EPA and OSHA/MOSH in the use of MSDS, respirators, scaffolding, ladders, fall protection gear, lockout/tagout, forklifts, aerial platforms, and confined space.
  • May undergo periodic occupational physical.


Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.


APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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