Nicet Level 1 Study Guide – Outlines


Nicet Level 1 is based on installation and maintenance tasks. In this post, I will try to give you the necessary information on what subjects and what books to study with in order for you to pass the Level 1 exam. Unfortunately, there is no one specific book for each exam level, it is based on different books and references along with the knowledge of different tasks. With this Nicet Level 1 Study Guide I will try to guide you successfully through these different books and reference while explaining the knowledge and skills that you will need for each task. In addition, I will give you a few practice exams questions to help you become more familiar with the type of questions you are likely to see on the exam.

Are you ready? Great! Here is what you can expect to learn in this post:

1.1 Installation Tasks

1.1.1 – Properly mount and connect fire alarm system components

In this task, you should have prior knowledge concerning various aspects of fire alarm components and the proper way to install them. You should be able to read plans and identify fire alarm devices and circuits. In addition, you should be familiar with the proper use of any tools, as well as how to mount and connect the fire alarm device and wires. You also need to have a clear understanding of the scopes for the following codes and standards:

NFPA 1 – Fire Code – Covers the full range of fire and life safety issues from fire protection systems and equipment and occupant safety in new and existing buildings, to hazardous materials, flammable and combustible liquids, LP-Gas, and more.

NFPA 70 ? National Electric Codes (NEC) – Covers the installation of electrical conductors, equipment, and raceways; signaling and communication.

NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code – Covers the application, installation, location, performance, inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire alarm systems, supervising station alarm systems, public emergency alarm reporting systems, fire warning equipment and emergency communications systems (ECS), and their components.

NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code ? Covers the strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection, and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards. It addresses the features of fire protection, sprinkler systems, alarms, emergency lighting, smoke barriers, and special hazard protection.

IBC – International Building Code – Addresses fire prevention concerning construction and design. The scope includes all buildings except detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories.

IRC – International Residential Code – Compiles all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas and electrical requirements for one- and two-family dwellings in one convenient code. The regulations cover dwellings and townhouses up to three stories.

IFC – International Fire Code – Covers general fire precautions, emergency planning and preparedness; including, fire department access, water supplies, sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and maintenance of fire protection equipment in existing buildings.

This task also requires that you have an understanding of the functions performed by fire alarm devices such as, manual fire alarm boxes, automatic detectors (smoke, heat, beam, duct?), audible and visual devices and annunciators. Be familiar on how they operate.

Suggested Book/Reference to read for this Task:
NFPA 72 2007 Edition Chapters 4,5,6,7
NFPA 70 2008 Edition Articles 725, 760 & Annex C
NFPA 101 2006 Edition
IBC 2006 Edition

Practice Question 1
A  1/8 : 1 scale means that a line on a drawing measuring 2.5″ is an actual distance of:

a) 200 feet
b) 16.4 feet
c) 20 feet
d) 164 feet

Practice Question 2
Wall mounted visible appliances (strobes) shall be mounted so that the top of
the lens is not more than____________ inches above finish floor.

a) 80
b) 96
c) 75
d) 60

Practice Question 3
Manual fire alarm boxes shall be installed within ________ of the exit doorway.

a) 4 feet
b) 5 feet
c) 8 feet
d) 10 feet

1.1.2 – Practice Correct Wiring Methods.

In this task, you should be able to use project plans and specifications to determine the system components, dimensions, elevations and locations of these components. You should also be familiar on the types of outlets, junction boxes, wires and conduits and the material required for mounting and installing these items.

Book/Reference to read for this Task:
NFPA 170: Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols
(Please note that you can have a free access to NFPA Documents by registering on their site. or clicking “Free Access”).
NFPA 70 Articles 725, 760 & Annex C.

Practice Question 4
What is the equivalent Value of a 2 resisters wired in parallel. Resister #1 is 4K ohms, resistor #2 is 4K ohms

a) 2K ohms.
b) 4K ohms.
c) 8K ohms.
d) 16K ohms.

Practice Question 5
FPLR fire alarm cable can be used in.

a) Floor to Floor.
b) Ducts.
c) Plenum Spaces.
d) All of the above.

Practice Question 6
How many 12 AWG conductor of the type THHN are allowed in 3/4″ EMT (electrical Metallic Tubing).

a) 6
b) 8
c) 12
d) 16

1.1.3 – Practice Work-Site Safety.

This task is about safety on the job site. You should be familiar with how to use power tools, ladders, lifts and other equipment properly, and have understanding of the potential hazard associated with this equipment. In addition, you should be able to recognize common minor injuries or conditions such as cuts and strains as well as major ones such as heart attack, heat exhaustion and electrical shock. You should also be able to apply basic first aid for these common injuries or conditions using materials found in a typical first aid kit.  You should also be able to use proper fall protection equipment as well as head, eye, ear and foot protection. Finally be able to read and interpret material safety data sheets (MSDS) and the proper way to handle and dispose a potential hazardous materials.

Suggested Books/References to read for this Task:
OSHA Publications
First Aid And Safety Handbook.
How to read an MSDS

Practice Question 7
The Occupational Safety and Health Organization is responsible for approving safety related items used in construction.

a) True
b) False

Practice Question 8
To treat a first degree burn you should:

a) Apply a good quality burn cream or ointment
b) Clean the area thoroughly with hot soapy water
c) Apply a constricting band between the burn and the heart
d) Apply cool running water until there is little or no remaining pain

Practice Question 9
What is one of the the major symptoms of a heat stroke.

a) Extreme sweating
b) Chest pain
c) Dry skin
d) Pain in the left arm

1.2  Maintenance Tasks

1.2.1 -  Perform simple maintenance tasks and operate basic test equipment

For this task, you should be able to use basic testing equipment such as Volt/Ohm Meters, Smoke detector testers, sound meters, battery testers and air flow meters in the process of testing the fire alarm system. You should also be able to follow manufacturer recommended procedures for operation, testing and cleaning of fire alarm devices. Finally, be familiar with NFPA 72 testing and inspection forms.

Suggested Books/References to read for this Task:
Various Manufacturers installation and maintenance manuals.
NFPA 72 2007 Edition Chapter  4,5,6,7 & 10
How to use volt ohm meter
How to use sound meter
How to clean a smoke detector
How to test a battery

Practice Question 10
When using a Volt Ohm Meter (VOM) to measure a resistance you should:

a) Set your meter to DC setting
b) Set Your meter to AC Setting
c) Disconnect the power to the circuit
d) Put Your Meter in Series with the circuit.

Practice Question 11
Which of the following test methods shall be used to ensure that each smoke detector is within its listed and marked sensitivity ranges:

a) Calibrated test method
b) Listed control equipment arranged for the purpose
c) Manufacturer?s calibrated sensitivity test instrument test
d) All of the above.

Practice Question 12
Testing and inspection records shall be kept until the next inspection and test date and for an additional __________ after that.

a) 1 month.
b) 6 months.
c) 1 year.
d) 5 years.

This is a compact version of NICET Level 1 Study guide, it should put you in the right direction and give you a general idea about the exam.

I encourage you to find the answers for the practice questions.  Please check my previous post on how to use the NFPA 72 book, it will help you in finding the answers quickly.

Please let me know in the comments area below what do you think about this concise study guide and what would you like to see in future posts.

Cheers and happy studying.


by John

48 comments… add one

  • HI my name is William. what i want to know is there a question and answer book that i can get to study bye. I have taken the electrical exam and i had a book of question that i had to answer and study bye. just like the question you have above. thats based on the question on the test

    • Hi William,

      Unfortunately I did not find any book out there that has a good number of questions and answers. there are few but are limited. I will be posting more questions and answers as I go along and see what others need in this site. I the Majority want Q&A ‘s, than I will concentrate on that. I will try to give what my readers want.


  • Hi John,

    One question, I have practical experience of 3 years in Simplex, Honeywell, Siemens etc. make fire alarm panel installation,commissioning and maintenance.
    Can I appear for NICET exam? [I am bit doubtful, as I am not resident of US. I am living in India.] Please suggest.

    • Shreyans,

      You do not need to be a resident of the US to take the exam, when filling out the application you can use your passport as a form of identification. However your experience should be obtained within the states, you must provide complete information on where and when you worked for a US company. You can not use an international experience in your application.

  • Hi John,

    Nice website you have here with a lot of useful information. I didn’t see a question for question #9 only possible answers.


    • Thanks for pointing it out John, it should be:
      “What is one of the the major symptoms of a heat stroke.”
      Glad you liked the site, let me know if you need any help.

  • Hi buddy, would it please be possible you email some books that I need to study for level one, I know nfpa 72 2007 edition and the nfpa 70 electrical code is there a certain OSHA book I need to reference too? Thanks for your help!

  • What a great site! thanks for your info. and cant wait for my videos on preparing for my test in June.

    • You are welcome Nate,
      Please check back soon for more material and study guides.
      Good Luck in your endeavor.

  • I love what your’e doing here.
    I would love to see more Q&A, as that is the easiest way for me to study.
    Two questions. Are you allowed to bring a calculator with you when you take the test?
    Do many questions require one?

    • Glad you liked the site. I will definitely be doing more Q&A. Jake, You are not allowed to bring a calculator with you the testing computer supplies an online Windows calculator. Good Luck.

  • I wonder y Nicet doesnt accept international experience. Even we work in a country e.g. in my case UAE, we do strict compliance to nfpa standards, still our experience is not acceptable?

  • Thanks for the help John! I took my test last Friday & passed. Your study guide was nice, but the way you tabbed the book was the icing on the cake. My advice to near future test takers is to study the NFPA 72 Test & Inspection section thoroughly as 90% of my test came from that section. 5% was common sense OSHA and 5% was misc NFPA 70 & 72.

    • Congratulations Jeromy, it really makes me happy that I was able to help people in passing their tests. Thanks for the share and keep going for higher levels.

  • I was looking for a study guide for nicet level 2

  • Hi John,

    ohh..What a great site! thanks for your all info.also i have some doubts,

    I am electrical & electronics engineer and i have 12 year design&technical experience in UAE (dubai).

    Can I apply for NICET exam?

    Please suggest.

    Best regards,

    • Thanks Shihab, I am glad you found the site helpful.
      I am assuming you are not a US resident, which is Ok with NICET, However your experience should be obtained within the states, you must provide complete information on where and when you worked for a US company. You can not use an international experience in your application.

  • Charles Porazzo October 25, 2014 11:43 am

    Hi John
    My name is Charlie I been in the security bussines for 30 yrs doing all kinds of work
    Fire burg phone systems acess systems ect I need help this test seems very hard please help

    • Hello Charles,
      I recommend going through the materials on this site, reading all the posts will help you tremendously in staring your path toward certification. I understand that this looks overwhelming, just take baby steps and you will be fine. You can start with the this article NICET Certification Overview. Let me know if you have specific questions.

  • Erik Klockemann October 25, 2014 4:17 pm

    Thanks John for your site! Perhaps you could put the answers down here in the comment area so we can gauge how we did. Looks like my next step is buying books… I look forward to reading all your posts and guiding others to your site.

    • Thanks Erik for visiting the site, I am glad you find the materials helpful. I will consider your suggestion and add the answers somewhere, I did not want to make the guide easy :) I wanted for you guys to actually try to find the answers :)
      Please check often for new materials.

  • Glenn Matthews January 7, 2015 9:04 pm

    I’m preparing to help a few fellow workers to test for the fire alarm test level I, and any help from you would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Hello Glen,
      there are tons of info here for level I, however some of the materials needs to be update especially the reference books. I haven’t been updating lately due to personal and family issues. however I am planning to update the materials and add new ones as time allows. Thanks for stopping by and check back soon.

  • thanks for all your info here … i’m military now and i want to peruse a nicet level 2 do i have to first go thought and receive a level 1 or can i just take the exam for 2

    • Hi Mike,
      Let me first salute you and thank you for your service to our nation. You can take both exams at the same time, however you need to pass level 1 in order to pass level 2. So yes you need to take and pass level 1 to advance to level 2, however you can take them both at the same time. You can check this post for more detail
      Congrats on your decision. Let me know if you need further help.
      Cheers, john.

  • what good does a practice test do, if we are not privy to grade ourselves with the answers? Am I overlooking the answer sheet…

    • my intention is to make you guys practice looking up answers in the right books, since that is one of best techniques in passing the test. However i might consider putting up the answers in future post.

  • John,
    Great practise test.
    But I can’t solve question number one. My answer was 25. What’s the Formula I also couldn’t find it on IBC.

    • Harvey,
      1/8:1 scales means that for every 1/8 of an inch on the plans equals 1 feet on the actual building.
      so with basic math how many 1/8 you have in 2.5 inches.?
      Hint (20) :)

  • John,

    Question number 9
    What is one of the the major symptoms of a heat stroke.

    a) Extreme sweating
    b) Chest pain
    c) Dry skin
    d) Pain in the left arm

    What to Look For
    Signals of heat stroke include extremely high body
    temperature, red skin that can be either dry or
    moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse;
    rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting;
    and seizures.
    When to Call 9-1-1
    Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency

    From my readings from the above article I’m not able to pin the correct answer for question #9
    Can you help thanks

  • Very helpful John. Thanks for your posting.

  • Hi John I need some help, Why the chapters of the NFPA 72, 4,5,6,7,8,9 are in reserved. What is that mean? Because I start studying for the NICET level I and I want to know if I need this chapters for the test or I can go ahead without this chapters.

  • Hi John,

    Just wanted to say thanks for everything you’ve done here on this site. I used it to pass my level 1 exam just recently. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) more level 2 content as i’ll probably write that test sometime in 2016.


  • Fire alarm

  • Why would you post a Practice Test and not provide the answers? I took the time to go through your website then take the test and now I have to go through all my books and find the answers? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of a practice test?

  • Heading into my level 1 test. Since my office gave me no help or direction in how to prepare this site has been my sole source of direction. The tabbing video was what really set me on the right track. Feeling confident and prepared.

  • Passed!!!

  • Just passed levels 1 and level 2. Level 2 was a lot harder than I thought it would be. My test included many questions on documentation and testing retorts. So study up on those sections as well. Thanks for the website. I also recommend looking for a book from Ntc. It’s their red book. Many practice tests that helped me learn how to navigate 72 70 and the ibc. Thanks again john and Goodluck everyone!!

  • Fire alarm technician tes

  • Hello John

    I have aquestion hopefully you can help .

    I work as a maintenance engineer for a timeshare in las Vegas, nevada. Recently we had a fire panel go off and read “battery off” . Is there a way that I could change the batteries or a smoke detector and duct detector. I was told onlysomeone certified if so , how or what do I do to get certified I only what to replace basic things . I hope you can help and tell me when to start .

    thankyou Eddie

  • Is there a fire alarm testing nicet test? Strictly on testing fire alarms?


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