Fire investigators have historically relied upon damage as a means to conclude where a fire originated; however, the investigation of fires is one of the more complicated forensic sciences due to the continuously altered or destroyed evidence by the fire. The fire investigation community terms the resulting damage as fire effects and fire patterns, which are defined as “the observable or measurable changes in or on a material as a result of exposure to the fire”.
Fire Investigation Overview
• In this course of instruction, you will receive the necessary tools and knowledge to assist you in obtaining the facts about fires.
• Fire investigation is the process of obtaining facts about a fire/explosion to bring you to a correct conclusion to the origin & cause of the event.
• This class is not intended to make you a “certified” fire investigator.
• This class is intended to start you into the “never ending” fire investigation world.
• Fire investigation– is the process of determining the origin, cause and development of a fire or explosion. The Fire Investigator
• Person who is generally responsible for obtaining facts about a fire to determine the origin, cause and responsibility.
• Great caution should be exercised when identifying the investigator as an “arson investigator”.
• This can give an inference that the fire was initially thought to be incendiary at the onset of the investigation.
NFPA 921, Current Edition
• “Guidefor Fire and Explosion Investigations”
• Intended to be a guide, although many courts are using it as a Standard of Care Systematic Approach
• This method provides for the organizational & analytical process which is desirable and necessary in a successful fire investigation.
• The systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observations and experiment, and the formulation and testing of a hypothesis.
This course focuses on the systematic approach to investigate the origin and cause of fires. Participants will learn the chemistry and physics that are involved with a fire to assist in the identification and interpretation of fire damage. Participants will learn how to apply a seven-step method to assist in the overall process of determining the fire origin by use of the fire effects and burn patterns.