The purpose of this course is to provide Fire Investigators, Law Enforcement Personnel, Insurance Investigators, D.A. Prosecutors, and Private Fire Investigators and all others responsible for Fire Investigation with a course of study, covering investigative techniques used to properly investigate, and conduct a Fire Origin and Cause Investigation. This course of study will reference NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations and NFPA 1033 Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators.
Overview of Fire Behavior: Provide knowledge of combustible materials, and the different effects that temperatures, melting points, and conditions will have on the fire behavior. Examine the different stages of fire, and discuss the fire indicators and how that information can lead the investigator to the origin and cause of the fire.
Investigation Management: We will discuss the different roles of everyone that will be involved in the investigation, and their effect on your investigation. Proper scene security, benefits of a systematic and scientific investigation, with the proper documentation for your examination.
Fire Scene Diagramming: The area of instruction will cover the importance of documentation with diagrams and all the useful benefits a diagram will provide. Examples will be provided.
Case Management: Finding the area of origin and determining the cause. Documenting the contents, interviewing witnesses, owners & occupants. Types of potential evidence present at the scene, identifying evidence, photographing the evidence, packaging the evidence, Writing a search warrant affidavit, Present expert opinions.
Pyromaniacs, Arsonists: A study of motives and characteristics of different fire setters.
Insurance Companies: A vast amount of information often overlooked by investigators. Insurance Companies which are now more than ever are involved in investigations within their SIU (Special Investigative Units we will discuss what information can be shared and the benefits of working together. We will cover the Arson Reporting Immunity Act.
Excerpts of Federal Laws/Case Laws: An overview of some of the important laws that pertain to fire investigation, and certain case law that has come down affecting the investigator in respect to his/her job.
Courtroom Testimony: Your case can be won or lost with just one question in a courtroom setting. Learn to be prepared. We will cover some common questions you will encounter, and how to better prepare yourself for court or depositions.
Report Writing/Case Management: A properly written and documented report with all of the facts from the case including a systematic approach and the use of a scientific method are a must in today’s investigations. This section will cover the proper method to write a report that will withstand the challenges of a courtroom or deposition setting. The example reports given to the attendee as a template will also follow a Rule 26 report for those cases that go to Federal Court.
An extensive CD with a vast amount of information will be given to each attendee in addition to the course manual.