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Celebrating 50 years!

Click the link to watch our anniversary video:

CFAA 50th Anniversary Video

Executive Director’s Message

Happy 50th Anniversary to the CFAA! We are celebrating 50 years in 2023! Below is a brief history on the Association. We look forward to the years ahead and the continued success of our collaborative efforts to represent the fire and life safety industry in Canada.

Our History:

The Canadian Fire Alarm Association was founded in 1973, and incorporated nationally as a Not-For-Profit Corporation on November 25th, 1977. The Association began as a manufacturers’ association. Over the years it gradually grew and developed. Much work was done by the founding members in promoting the effective use of fire alarm systems across Canada. There were also efforts to establish and influence industry standards, and to develop and deliver education programs aimed at helping installers and service technicians become competent and knowledgeable to help improve the quality, effectiveness and reliability of fire alarm systems.

The CFAA developed its Education Program over time and connected with colleges to expand its availability. Due to some excellent promotion and education efforts in the “regulatory” community, particularly in Manitoba and Ontario, CFAA champions managed to strongly influence the enactment of legislation. This resulted in Manitoba and Ontario requiring technicians working on fire alarms to have completed a training program “acceptable to the Fire Marshal”. and the CFAA Fire Alarm Technology Program was recognized.

In 1998 Manitoba was the first jurisdiction that enacted legislation. Ontario legislation, which took effect in 1999, brought the CFAA to a turning point in terms of its growth and its influence throughout the province, and in fact in other parts of Canada. Since that time, the number of CFAA Registered Fire Alarm Technicians has grown to over 3,500. The number of CFAA Members has grown to more than 400.

Historically, the majority of CFAA activity and influence was in Ontario, more specifically in the Greater Toronto area. The National Board of Directors for many years tried valiantly to find champions in other Canadian cities and provinces to establish Chapters and to promote the CFAA locally in other parts of Canada. The CFAA National Board of Directors, Chapters Committee combined with the emergence of “critical masses” of local interest in pursuing CFAA goals resulted in visible Chapter formation in Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In early 2010, as a result of a lot of work and strong recommendations from the CFAA National Board of Director’s Strategic Planning Committee an Ontario Chapter was also born.

The CFAA currently has nine Chapters across Canada, with the newest Chapter being the Atlantic Canada Chapter which was established in 2020 representing New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since 2020 the Association has begun, though not yet completed, a digital transformation of all member and technician records and profiles, introduced virtual and hybrid training events and launched a new website with increased functionality. We established virtual Annual Meetings, along with Committee, Chapter and Board meetings. We’ve also introduced a more robust Education Program in 2016 that includes Theory and Practical hands-on exams, along with our Continuing Education Program for CFAA Registered Fire Alarm Technicians to help ensure technicians are current on Codes and Standards requirements that impact their work and are exposed and trained to new “smart” building technologies that use the fire alarm panel to monitor additional life safety systems and sensors in a building connected to sprinklers, elevators, emergency lighting, kitchen hood ventilation systems, smoke control systems, mass notification systems, fire pumps, fire doors, fire extinguishers, primary power, batteries, and emergency power systems, etc. Our Education Program also provides training to other industry stakeholders such as building owner/operators, AHJs, engineering firms and insurance representatives.

The Association’s future is promising as we remain steadfast in our mission to maximize the effectiveness and use of fire alarm systems in the protection of life and property in Canada. CFAA’s vision is to be recognized nationally as the definitive resource for fire alarm related information, education, qualifications, expertise, and industry support with active chapters throughout Canada.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you! Thank you for your support.

– Suzanne Alfano