How do you preserve a fire scene?

Flagging items of evidence with cones or markers. Leaving bodies undisturbed. Avoiding needless destruction of property. Limiting excessive fire suppression, overhaul, and salvage.

How should an investigator manage a fire scene?

The investigator should: Contact the incident commander, identify first responders and first-in firefighters, and arrange to document their observations either in writing or through recorded interviews. Determine who reported the fire. Secure a tape or transcript of the report if available.

Why is it important to preserve a fire scene?

From a prosecutorial point of view, the preservation of the fire scene is critical and is likely the most important function between suppression completion and the initiation of the investigation. Fire department personnel can provide the same objective.

Where does the fire investigation process usually begin?

The first step in a fire investigation is the preliminary scene examination/size-up. For best results, a trained fire investigator should be notified about and respond to serious fires or possible arson fires immediately after fire apparatus is dispatched.

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When investigating a fire there are three types of evidence including?

Types of Evidence. There are basically three types of evidence, all of which in some manner relate to fire investigations. They are demonstrative evidence, documentary evidence, and testimonial evidence.

Which duty would a fire investigator perform at a fire scene investigation?

He must locate the origin of a fire and determine whether the fire was accidental or intentional by examining the scene. If after locating the origin of a fire, a fire investigator suspects arson, his job is to look for any evidence that can be used to determine suspects and build a solid case for law enforcement.

What are the 4 key elements of fire investigation?

With few exceptions, the proper methodology for a fire or explosion investigation is to first determine and establish the origin(s), then investigate the cause: circumstances, conditions, or agencies that brought the ignition source, fuel, and oxidant together.

What is the most obvious sign of fire cause?

What is the MOST obvious sign of fire cause? Signs of arson are determined when initial cause is indicated as: incendiary or undetermined fire.

What do fire investigators look for?

They search for clues to the origin and cause of the fire. Investigators are able to determine the original location of a fire through clues such as char patterns, “direction of melt,” and heat shadows. These burn patterns often point to the source of the fire in tell-tale patterns.

What are the elements of arson?

The main elements necessary to prove arson are evidence of a burning and evidence that a criminal act caused the fire. The accused must intend to burn a building or other structure. Absent a statutory description of the conduct required for arson, the conduct must be malicious, and not accidental.

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How is evidence from a fire scene collected?

When fire scene evidence is collected, the fire investigator should collect two evidence samples: primary evidence samples and comparison samples. Primary evidence should be obtained in an area or areas suspected to have been exposed to some type of liquid accelerant and should be analyzed to identify the accelerant.

How long do fire investigations take?

A fire investigation can take anywhere from a few days up to a few months, depending on; the size of the fire, number of witnesses, loss of life or property, or suspicious activity. However, all investigations for fires follow a similar process.

What are the signs of arson?

Common Signs of Arson

  • A large amount of damage.
  • No “V” burn pattern present, unsual burn patterns and high heat stress.
  • Lack of accidental causes.
  • Evidence of forced entry.
  • Absence of valuable items.
  • The same person shows up at unconnected fires.
  • Low burning point with unidentifiable point of origin.
  • Multiple points of origin.

What is a fire investigator called?

An arson investigator is part detective, part fire scientist. After fires are reported and suppressed, arson investigators help determine the cause of the blaze and, if appropriate, whether criminal activity is involved.

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