Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2024
Units: 5
Hours: 36 lecture, 84 laboratory per quarter (120 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Electrical Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will learn the acceptable code compliance of an emergency generator installation for commercial buildings
  • The student will learn the code for installation and testing of audible devices in highrise dwelling units


Introduction to fire alarm systems and their components. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge in alarm system interfaces, safety control functions, advanced detection topics, emergency communications system, public emergency systems, and supervising stations. Comprehension of residential fire alarm systems, telephone, and security basics is covered in detail. This course meets the requirements of electrical safety standards for 3rd year apprentices who are pursuing their certificate.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Read electrical plans and specifications of building alarm systems
  2. Build a simple and complex alarm system
  3. Inspect, test, and maintain telephone and alarm systems
  4. Explain alarm system requirements, initiating devices, notification appliances, and wiring methods
  5. Understand photo voltaic systems and explain how to properly install these systems

Course Content

  1. Electrical plans
    1. Understanding building alarm initiating devices
    2. Reading blueprints, recognizing symbols and callouts
    3. Installation and spacing requirements of initiating devices
  2. Simple and complex alarms
    1. Understanding notification devices
    2. Understanding audible signaling
    3. Visual signaling
    4. Emergency communication systems
    5. Evacuation signals
    6. Household systems
    7. Fire protection systems
  3. Inspect, test, and maintenance
    1. Reading communication/signal drawings
    2. Installing telephones systems
    3. Testing and troubleshooting system malfunctions
  4. Alarm system requirements
    1. Understanding security systems
    2. Installing security systems
    3. Testing and troubleshooting to the component level
    4. Fire protection plans and symbols
    5. Occupant notification
  5. Photovoltaic systems
    1. System specs and sizing of photovoltaic systems
    2. Installing photovoltaic systems

Lab Content

Students will work individually and in teams on proper wiring of alarm and telephone systems. Safe working practices for on-the-job training include:

  1. Equipment safety
  2. Fire protection
  3. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
  4. Safe handling practices

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Work benches
2. Alarm system panels and kits
3. Telephone panels and kits
4. Power tools
5. Hand tools
6. Computer
7. Overhead projector
8. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with software and hardware capable of running video conferencing applications (e.g., Zoom)

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Results of quizzes and tests
Classroom and laboratory participation
Maintaining a daily student log of work activities
Results of hands-on laboratory tests

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lab assignments
Group discussion

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. Fire Alarm Systems. 2016.

National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. Fire Alarm Systems Workbook. 2016.

National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. Telephone and Security Basics Workbook. 2016.

These are the standard electrical textbooks/workbooks used for this course. Although some may be older than 5 years, they are the most current books used when teaching this course.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading assignment from the textbook, for example: read chapters 1-12
  2. Writing assignment from the NJATC Telephone and Security Basics Workbook, for example: complete writing assignments from chapters 1-12 on pages 1-53