Security Science Quiz

1. What is the difference between a code and a standard?

a)  A standard tells you how to do something and a code tells you when/where to do it

b) There is no difference

c) It depends on NFPA

d) There is only a difference when they both address fire alarm systems

2. What is the area of detection for a carbon monoxide detector?

a) 90 square feet

b) 300 square feet

c) 900 square feet

d) At the detector

3. How many parts per million (ppm) does it take to activate a carbon monoxide detector?

a) 70 ppm

b) 70 ppm for 60-240 minutes

c) 700 ppm

d) 1,241 ppm

4. How does a photo-electronic smoke detector detect smoke?

a) Obscuration

b) Light extinguishment

c) Smoke breaks photo beam in detector

d) Light scattering principle

5. How does a two-wire smoke detector create an alarm condition?

a) Increases power

b) Opens the circuit

c) Increases voltage

d) Increases current draw

6. What is obscuration?

a) A reduction in atmospheric transparency

b) Infrared sensing device

c) A component of thermal dynamics

d) A density measurement used only for black smoke

7. When your company installs a commercial fire alarm control unit it shall be listed under:

a) UL 636

b) UL 827

c) UL 864

d) UL 1023

8. A household fire alarm control unit is generally listed under:

a) UL 985

b) UL 864

c) UL 720

d) UL 2075

9. What UL standards apply to the manufacture of CO detectors and CO alarms?

a) UL 2034 and UL 2075

b) UL 1076 and UL 681

c) UL 2043 and UL 2057

d) UL 720

10. How many times is the word “shall” referenced in the 2007 edition of NFPA 72, The National Fire Alarm Code?

a) 1,525

b) 2,142

c) 2,563

d) 2,792

11. How many times is the word “should” referenced in the 2007 edition of NFPA 72, The National fire Alarm Code?

a) Once

b) 27

c) 289

d) 1,289

 9 Steps to Raise Professionalism

1. Provide substantive training to each of your employees in the design, application, recommendations, installation, programming, service, inspection, maintenance, and monitoring of security and fire alarm systems

2. Promote obtaining the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) credential through the American Society for Industrial Security Int’l (ASIS)

3. Become a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

4. Become a member of your state alarm association and the Electronic Security Association (ESA)

5. Provide a copy of and provide training on NFPA 72 to each of your employees

6. Promote obtaining NFPA’s Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) credential

7. Promote National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Certification

8. Provide OSHA training to each of your employees

9. Provide a copy of NFPA 70E to each of your employees

Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, DABFET, CHS-III, SET, RI, is a forensic alarm industry expert and President of Teaneck, N.J.-based IDS Research & Development Inc. He can be reached at (201) 287-0900 or This column is not intended as legal advice and should not be construed as such.

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About the Author


Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV, SET, CCI, FASI&T, MBAT, writes Security Sales & Integration’s “Security Science” column. He is also president of IDS Research and Development, an alarm and security consultation, expert witness and training authority providing nationwide services on all issues related to alarm and security matters. He can be reached at (201) 287-0900.

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