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Fire forensics, also known as fire investigation or arson investigation, is the process of determining the origin, cause, and spread of fires.

Fire investigation involves the examination of all fire-related incidents once firefighters have extinguished the fire. The procedure is similar to that of a crime scene investigation in that the site must be preserved and evidence collected and analysed, but it comes with a slew of additional challenges and dangers.

The inquiry will entail a thorough examination of the damaged area in order to determine the source of the fire. However, in order to study and evaluate a fire scene effectively, the investigator must have a thorough understanding of fire chemistry and behaviour, as well as the impacts of fire.

Key services for Fire Forensics Investigation

  • Investigation of fire scenes to determine the fire’s origin and cause.
  • Detailed laboratory investigation of samples taken from fire scenes to find any defects or potential ignition sources.
  • Identifying the characteristics of items that burn and how they may have contributed to the spread of a fire.
  • Measurement of material performance in standard and custom fire tests, including evaluation and interpretation of data, as well as comparison to any applicable standards.
  • Simulating fire scenarios on a small scale.
  • In the lab and on the scene, non-destructive X-ray analysis of fire-damaged samples.
  • Expert witness testimony in support of legal actions, litigation, and inquests connected to fire investigations (including deliberate and tragic fires)


Evidence Collection and Analysis

The same rigorous preservation and anti-contamination measures that are used in crime scene investigations should be used in the collection of evidence at a fire site. 

In the event of a suspected arson, samples are taken from the scene to be analysed for accelerants. Because the usage of accelerants isn’t always obvious, investigators may need to rely on detection dogs or hydrocarbon sniffers to find these volatile compounds. Vapour detectors known as hydrocarbon sniffers are used to detect the presence of fuel and solvent vapours in flammable liquids.
Early devices used treated paper or crystals that changed colour when exposed to hydrocarbons, whereas recent devices are basically portable gas chromatographs or flame ionisation detectors. However, these devices can only be used as a screening tool for accelerants, as comparable chemicals can be created by the thermal breakdown of a variety of natural and synthetic elements detected on the scene.

Who needs fire consultation services?

  • Attorneys and Legal Professionals
  • Insurance Companies
  • Fire Departments and Fire Investigators
  • Private Investigators and Security Firms
  • Building Owners and Property Managers
  • Architects and Engineers
  • Government Agencies and Regulatory Bodies
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Companies


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