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. ONLY the specified editions by NICET are permitted. DO NOT  bring the latest addition of the code books, they will not allow you to take it to the exam room. 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 (2007 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
NFPA 70 – National Electric Code (2008 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
IBC – Internationl Building Code (2006 Edition)check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32check-mark-9-32
NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code (2006 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.

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 Construction Industry Digest, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
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 (2006).

Available through Amazon or other retailers:
NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code (National Fire Alarm & Signaling Code), 2007 Edition. NFAPA
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code 2008 (National Fire Protection Association National Electrical Code), 2008 Edition. NFPA
NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2006 Edition. NFPA
IBC – International Building Code – , 2006 ninth 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.
National Fire Alarm Code Handbook NFPA 72 2007 Edition, Lee F. Richardson et. al., NFPA.
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.
Contract Law: Selected Source Materials, 2008 ed. (American Casebooks), West, 2008 edition. CSI Master Format; 2004 Edition.
A designer’s guide to fire alarm systems, Robert M. Gagnon, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), January 2003.
Safety and Health for Engineers, Roger L. Brauer, Wiley-Interscience, 2nd edition, December 23, 2005.
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

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