Three years ago, in response to growing concerns in the
insurance industry about torch-related roof fires, NRCA entered into a partnership with
the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) to broaden the
scope of MRCA's certified roofing torch applicator (CERTA)
The plan was—and is—to train as many roofing workers
as possible in safe torch use. Through the NRCA/MRCA
CERTA program, as it now is called, more than 700 trainers
successfully have completed a full-day accreditation program about
how to teach torch safety. Those 700, in turn, have trained and
certified more than 7,000 applicators. The trainers come from all
parts of the industry; they work for contractors, manufacturers and
distributors, and some work independently. The applicators go
through a rigorous, hands-on training program that concludes with
an examination they must pass to earn their certifications.
In addition, NRCA
maintains records of all certified applicators so the certification
can stay with those who change jobs. All in all, the
program—from an administrative standpoint—is a great
But the appropriate question to ask, after three years of
training, is whether the program has achieved its larger objective
of reducing fires. The answer is remarkably positive. Losses from
fires are down significantly, measured by...
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