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September 7, 2003

                             ET NEWS
================================================================
        NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS
----------------------------------------------------------------
Issue No. 115          http://www.etnews.org            9-7-2003
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Contents
--------
- News
- ET Journal
- NICET Test Dates
- AFAA Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements

================================================================
NEWS
================================================================

SEVENTH – floor fire quickly doused - Burlington Hawk Eye, IA
... Apartment Manager Shelly Morton discovered the fire after a
resident called to report that the fire alarm in a next–door
apartment was sounding ...
http://www.thehawkeye.com/daily/stories/ln2_0904.html

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HOMEOWNER sues Ace Alarms for $1.2 million
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Ace Alarms Inc. faces a lawsuit in conjunction
with a fire that destroyed a customer’s home last Christmas Eve.
http://www.securitysystemsnews.com/enews/2003.09.04/story1.htm

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I'll see you in Batavia, NY this week.

Have fun!

Mike
mailto:mbbaker@etnews.org

================================================================
ET JOURNAL
================================================================

SUGGESTED READING

I'm often asked some variation of the question "What books should
I use to learn more about fire alarm systems?" Holy cow scooter!
Where do I start? As I travel across the USA I'm alarmed by the
wide range of skill-sets between technicians working in different
parts of the country. Over the past year, my fire alarm education
paradigm has shifted! (I know what your thinking; "Oh Baker,
that's so 1998!")

This disparity, in my opinion, is due to local requirements. One
State may require that an individual be licensed as an
electrician or technician before they're allowed to work on fire
alarm systems. This requirement may include an apprenticeship
program. Other States may have a watered down apprenticeship
program and some States may not require any accreditation.

To work as a contractor in (insert_a_State_to_pick_on_here)
all you need is a pickup truck and a dog

Depending upon your level of work experience and job knowledge,
you may find one or more of the following books useful. This list
is not complete and it is not presented in any particular order:

Fire Alarm Signaling Systems
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=6
A well written book that covers a broad range of fire protection
subjects. Unlike most codes and standards, this is a readable
book. I've read the 1987 and 1994 version and I continue to use
the 1994 version. I'm currently reading the 2003 version and so
far I don't see many changes. There is some additional
information but not enough to justify the cost to upgrade from
1994.
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=6

NEMA Training Manual on Fire Alarm Systems
http://global.ihs.com/doc_detail.cfm?customer_id=%21%25I%2AL%0A&
shopping_cart_id=%26%27H3%29I%40HJ%0A&country_code=US&lang_code=
ENGL&document_name=NEMA%20TRAINING%20MANUAL&input_doc_number=&in
put_doc_title=training%20manual%20fire
A somewhat crude beginners guide to fire alarm systems that is
easy to read and includes a limited number of illustrations. I
used this as a companion to NFPA 72 when I worked for Clackamas
Community College. At that time it was about $25, which is a
reasonable price. Now it's $50. $25 is a reasonable price.

NFPA Pocket Guide to Fire Alarm System Installation
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=23
This is the Reader's Digest version of several NFPA standards
including NFPA 70, 72, 101, and 170. It's well organized and is
more useful in the field to confirm requirements than it is in
the NICET test center. There isn't much "code language", only
tables, figures, and exhibits. The exhibits present requirements
in straightforward tables.

Fire Protection Handbook
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=7
This is a behemoth of a book, actually books. The 2003 version
has 2 volumes. I don't own it but I have borrowed it from others
occasionally. It is a veritable encyclopedia of information and
an excellent reference manual for Fire Protection Engineers. I'm
not convinced that a technician needs this book unless of course
you're studying for the CFPS exam.

Delmar's Textbook on Basic Electricity
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0827385501/amazonassoc/th
ebakergroup/002-7046486-3768819
I recommend this book often to fire alarm technicians who want to
learn more about electrical theory and application. I used this
as the textbook in my first year electrical apprenticeship
classes at CCC. It is very well written and includes color
illustrations, however, it is overpriced in my opinion. Look for
a used copy/earlier edition on eBay.

A Designer's Guide to Fire Alarm Systems
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=29
I'm currently reading this book and I'll post a review when I'm
finished.

NFPA 70-2002 National Electrical Code
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=13
Required reading of all fire alarm technicians. It's more
important to familiarize yourself with the NEC than it is to
memorize any of its requirements. The world's worst bedtime
story. If you have trouble sleeping, turn to article 250 and
you'll be sawing logs faster than you can say Fine Print Note.

NFPA 72-2002 National Fire Alarm Code
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=5
Also known as The Good Book (TGB), this is the fire alarm
technician's bible (No, I'm not blaspheming). Like other codes
and standards, it's more important to familiarize yourself with
NFPA 72 than it is to memorize its content. This is the most
often referenced book in the NICET level I & II elements.

NFPA 72-2002 HANDBOOK
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=27
I like the handbook version because the author's comments often
add some background information as to where a particular
requirement came from. This helps me to understand the intent of
a requirement making it easier to develop an alternative
solution. Illustrations and photographs are used throughout. The
handbook versions of NFPA standards are very popular with
designers. I don't recommend the handbook version for NICET
testing because it's too difficult to navigate.

NFPA 101-2003 Life Safety Code
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=12
Many designers consider this a generic fire code and use it as a
starting point in the design process. If you're considering
buying this to prepare for a NICET exam only, save your money.

UGLYs Electrical References
http://www.etnews.org/index.php?s=461&bid=9
This small pocketbook is very useful and a bargain. It includes
a lot of information from NFPA 70 plus first aid, metric
conversions, electrical circuit calculations, math formulas, and
much more. I highly recommend this book.

NICET Test Preparation Handbooks
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=11
These are cut-to-the-chase handbooks for people who have the work
experience but haven't had the time to familiarize themselves
with the books listed above. There are 3 versions:
Level I & II
Level III & IV
Level I, II, III, & IV

================================================================
NICET TEST DATES
================================================================

OREGON
------
OR1 PCC Sylvania, Portland;
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.
Test ??/??/04. Postmark deadline 12/1/03.

OR2 Clackamas Community College, Oregon City;
Test 9/27/03. Postmark deadline 8/9/03.
Test 11/15/03. Postmark deadline 9/27/03.

These dates are from the NICET web site. For a complete list of
all test centers and test dates, visit:
http://63.70.211.210/cfdocs/nicetschedule.cfm

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AFAA CLASS SCHEDULE
================================================================

------------------
September 9-11, 2003 Batavia, NY - Sponsored by NYBFA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/NYBFA_Sept03.pdf

------------------
September 15-18, 2003 Oakland, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/PR_INT_CAFAA_OAKLAND_SEPT2003.PDF

------------------
September 22-25, 2003 Lafayette, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/INT_TI_LAAFAA_Lafayette_Sept2003.pdf

------------------
September 16-18, 2003 Philadelphia, PA - Co-sponsored by PA AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Philadelphia_Sept2003.pdf

------------------
September 25, 2003 Lafayette, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/INT_TI_LAAFAA_Lafayette_Sept2003.pdf

------------------
October 8-9, 2003 Wichita, KS - Sponsored by KS AFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar.
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar.
More information will be available soon.

------------------
October 15-17, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_NewEngland_Oct2003.pdf

------------------
October 21-23, 2003 Anchorage, AK
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Anchorage_Oct2003.pdf

------------------
November 3-6, 2003 Anaheim, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 4-7, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 21, 2003 Reno, NV
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
December 2-4, 2003 Phoenix, AZ - Co-sponsored by AZ AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
December 9-11, 2003 San Antonio, TX - Co-sponsored by TX AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

================================================================
COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
================================================================

Engineering Technician info: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos112.htm

ET News is published weekly and if possible, delivered on Sunday

ET News php/MySQL site by: Doug Hockinson http://metrodenver.org

The NICET acronym found herein refers to http://www.nicet.org
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CERTIFICATION IN ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES

The AFAA acronym found herein refers to http://www.afaa.org
AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION "AFAA is celebrating 50 years!"
----------------------------------------------------------------
Some information may be found within this email message that is
reprinted with permission from one or more of the following;
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code(r), NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm
Code(r), and NFPA 101(r) Life Safety Code(r), Copyright(c) NFPA,
Quincy, MA 02269. This reprinted material is not the complete and
official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is
represented only by the standard in its entirety.
================================================================
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This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.