NICET Certification – Study and Reference Books


So I’ve decided to study for the exam. Now, where to begin? What to study? Where to get the reference materials? It’s overwhelming. So, let’s take it one step at a time.

The majority of the questions in the NICET certification exams are from four major code books, NFPA 72,  NFPA 70, NFPA 101,  and IBC.

Depending on the level of the NICET CBT exam, you are permitted to bring some of the reference books I mention above to the testing center. Bring ONLY the specified editions by NICET. DO NOT  bring older or newer  edition of the code books, Also NFPA “Handbook” will NOT be Permitted, just Bring the regular code book. The following table will tell what you can bring at each level.

Permitted References To NICET Exam

Level ILevel IILevel IIILevel IV
NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm Code (2013 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
NFPA 70 – National Electric Code (2011 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
IBC – Internationl Building Code (2012 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code (2012 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32


NICET also recommends reading other materials for each level of the certification exam. They can provide some of the job knowledge required by a fire alarm systems technician’s career. For the most current list for each level  please click on  Level I, Level II, Level III or Level IV.

The list is pretty long, some of the references are available online for free and others can be purchased through amazon or other retailers. I will try to go through each one and define the key points. However, I will not put too much energy on these recommended materials. I will focus all my energy and study towards the four major code books that I will expand upon on my upcoming posts. While these books may help you prepare for the exam, they are NOT permitted in the test center

Below I have listed all the links to the free as well as the paid resource for the majority of the recommend books.

Available online for free:
OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910  Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA 29 CFR Part 1926, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Electrical Safety (Student Manual), Department of Health and Human Services.
UL 268 Smoke Detectors for Fire Protective Signaling Systems (2003), Underwriters Laboratories.
UL 864 Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems (2003), Underwriters Laboratories.
ASME 17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators 2007, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
IBC – International Code Council (2012).

Available through Amazon or other retailers:
NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code (National Fire Alarm & Signaling Code), 2013 Edition. NFPA
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code, 2011 Edition. NFPA
NFPA 101 Life Safety Code,  2012 Edition. NFPA
IBC – International Building Code – , 2012 Edition
Fire Alarm Signaling Systems 2010, Richard Bukowski, P.E., et. al., NFPA.
Low Voltage Wiring: Security/Fire Alarm Systems, Terry Kennedy and John Traister , McGraw-Hill.
Ugly’s Electrical References, 2011 Edition, George V. Hart & Sammie Hart, Burleson Distributing Corp.
AIA Contract Documents, The American Institute of Architects.
The Building Professional’s Guide to Contracting Documents (RSMeans), Walter S. Poage, R.S. Means Company, 3rd edition November 2000.
Active Training, Mel Silberman, Jossey-Bass
Practical Project Management, Michael S. Dobson
Construction Management JumpStart, Barbara J. Jackson
Construction Contracting, Richard H. Clough.
A designer’s guide to fire alarm systems, Robert M. Gagnon, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), January 2003.
Safety Training Methods: Practical Solutions for the Next Millennium, Jack B. ReVelle, Wiley-Interscience, 2nd edition, February 1995.


In my future posts, I will try to explain how to use each book and which sections we need to concentrate on. I will probably start with the NFPA 72, since it is the most important code book.

As always, please do not hesitate to comment or ask any questions you might have. Keep reading and happy studying. Cheers!


by John

18 comments… add one

  • John, I have been wanting to start studying for NICET Level One but have been a little intimidated. I’m looking forward to learning from your experience. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Is the certification test the same in all states? I am in Texas and need to get my cert. within 6 months. I just want to make sure I will be able to use the 2007 book before I purchase it.

  • John-

    Thank you from Portland, OR for taking the time to put this abundance of information onto the WWW. I found your sight very useful and feel confident going in to take my test.


  • Hi John,

    Found your Website and just want to tank you for giving the time to post up these informative info.
    Got a questions, Currently I live in Guam, a US Territory and been working for a Fire Alarm Company Firm for about 6 years now.
    I’ve taken the NICET 1 class about 3 years however never got the certification, even though I passed the exam.
    I do have an account on the NICET web site and my certification shows “Status”?
    Will I have to take the exam again since its been three year?
    Can I still take the NICET II class?


  • christian anderson May 9, 2014 4:09 pm

    just wanted to ask if you have any info on new testing as the 3/4 exams I took where in the old testing format ie elements any info be nice

  • Carol Dennis May 16, 2014 12:12 am

    I am taking the NICET 3 modular test in 1 month again after failing it in December 2013. I noticed there were quite a few questions around both project management and field technician/testing.
    I have very little field experience, so what do you recommend I do in tis short time to get informed?

  • Hi John,
    I was reading where they are limiting material for the new testing format. Even tho NICET is listing newer editions of NFPA and IBC, will the older versions still prove valuable? Also, they do not list elements like prior testing? I’m going for Level III soon so I’m guessing 35001-35016 would still be valid material to study? Thanks in advance and very helpful site!! :) Keep up the good work!

  • Hey John, This is a great website are you still keeping it current. There are so many questions when it comes to nicet training. Thank you for all your help and support and is there a way to donate to your website?

    Joel, San Francisco CA.

    • Hi Joel,
      Glad you liked the site. honestly I was hesitant to ask for donation on the site, however lately I have been asked by so many thoughtful people if they can donate to my work. I think at this juncture i should not refuse the blessing that is coming toward me from you guys. Hence I added the “DONATE” button on top of this page, right under my bio. your caring contribution will help to keep this site up. Thanks for you kindness.

  • Is there a paid online nicet study course with test and certification provided at the completion.

  • What do you think about study guides sole like red and orange book using them as a study guide since I can’t find prep corse in nj

  • keith H Lompe May 1, 2016 3:21 am


    Do you know if you are allowed electronic copies of the references for the test or it has to be paperback?

    • Keith,
      You are not allowed to have any electronic devises with you during the test. This includes smart phone, Tablets and even calculator. a simple calculator will be provided to you on the computer.


Leave a Comment

Next Post:

Previous Post: