How Do I Renew My Fire/Life/Safety Certification in California

Written by Kacie Goff

Getting your fire/life/safety certification from the California Department of Industry Relations (DIR) required quite a bit of work. Beyond the thousands of hours of experience that you had to rack up, you also had to take a pretty long exam. And you’re probably not keen to repeat that process anytime soon. 

That means renewing your certification in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this process is going to require multiple to-dos from you. But don’t panic. We’ve gathered up all the info and links you need to make renewing your California fire/life/safety technician certification as easy as possible.  

When to renew

Your cert expires every three years, and your renewal is due (i.e., postmarked to the DIR) before your expiration date. 

You don’t need to wait until the last minute to get your renewal in, though, and doing it early can save you some headache. Assuming you’ve met the renewal requirements we’re about to outline, the DIR will accept your renewal application as long as you’re within one year of your expiration date. 

What you need to renew

You need to check off all four of these requirements in order to successfully renew your fire/life/safety certification with the state:

Work experience

The DIR requires all California electricians to have 2,000 hours of experience during the most recent renewal period (meaning, the last three years) or they won’t let you renew. Assuming you work 40-hour weeks and you only take two weeks a year off, you’ll hit that experience requirement within one year of work. 

Continuing education

This to-do definitely requires the most time and energy, but it’s getting easier because the DIR now allows fire/life/safety technicians to take their CE hours online. And that’s big, because you need quite a few hours during each renewal period.

Specifically, the state requires that you take 32 hours of continuing education from an electrical CE provider that they’ve approved. By taking your hours online when you’ve got some spare time, you can save yourself from having to take nearly a week off to finish the required CE. 

The DIR also requires that you take CE on “courses that are relevant to the category of certification.” You can make sure your CE hours will count toward renewal by choosing a state-approved provider with a fire/life/safety-focused online course

The renewal fee

Standard electrician certification renewals cost $100. If you let your cert expire, it doubles to $200, so it’s well worth getting your paperwork in on time. 

Your renewal application

The good news is that the California fire/life/safety technician renewal form is just one page long and is pretty straightforward. You pretty much just need to write your personal info in and check some boxes indicating that you’ve taken all the steps we outlined above.

Once you finish filling out the renewal form, mail it (with your $100 renewal fee) to:

DIR-Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement

Attn: Electrician Certification Unit

PO Box 511286 Los Angeles, CA 90051-7841

Yes, renewing your California fire/life/safety certification will probably be a little bit of a hassle. But if you start the process early and take your CE online, you can make it easier on yourself.