Saturday, June 15, 2013

Trick Question on the CA Fire Life Safety Apprentice Exam

Well it might not be a trick question but it definitely has two answers and the problem is with the computer based exam, you can only choose one response. NICET exams give you the ability to challenge a question like this.

DIR California Fire Life Safety ExamAs we all know, the California Fire Life Safety Exam still utilizes NFPA 72 1999 edition National Fire Alarm Code 1999: Nfpa 72 and the NEC 2002 edition National Electrical Code 2002 Handbook (National Fire Protection Association//National Electrical Code Handbook) code books. Both of these books are provided to you when you start the examination.

One of the questions I came across was worded something like this:

How often must a sealed lead-acid battery be visually inspected?
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Semiannually
  • Annually
Now at first glance the answer is obviously "semiannually" as stated in the NFPA 72 1999 table 7-3.1 for Visual Inspection Frequencies. But here is where the question gets tricky. NFPA 72 1999 section 7-3.1 exception #2 states

"If automatic inspection is performed at a frequency of not less than weekly by a remotely monitored fire alarm control unit specifically listed for such application, the visual inspection frequency shall be permitted to be annual. The requirements of Table 7-3.1 shall apply."

So as you can see, the question does not state that the system is remotely monitored so I chose monthly. However, if they wanted to be difficult, it could technically go both ways.


  1. So what is the answer the state is looking for monthly, semiannually or annually? you mention each of these options. I am assuming it is monthly.