Become A Fireman

Fire Investigation

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Firefighter Jobs

After the firefighters job is complete, and they have finished extinguishing the fire, the fire investigation team begins their work. Their job is to find evidence that will tell them how the fire started, and where it started. To help them in their investigation, they use a technique called fire science. In order to complete fire investigations in the United States, you must have certification through the International Association of Arson Investigators. There is also a national certification level that you can get by going through the National Association of Fire Investigators. Professionals in the field of fire and explosives make up this group and can specialize in explosives investigation, instructor certification, and vehicle investigation. These investigators learn about many of the common culprits found in the home, such as plug in appliances or cigarettes, which often result in fires. They also learn about home construction and how humans behave. No matter which form of fire investigation is used, the details of the scene must always be studied in order to have an accurate idea about the fire’s origin.

Investigating a fire is very difficult, and is considered one of the hardest forms of crime scene investigation. One of the most difficult questions that a fire investigator must answer is whether there has even been a crime. In other forms of crime scene investigations there is easy to see evidence of foul play, murder and wrongdoing. In a scene where there has been a fire, much of the evidence will have been destroyed, and the investigator must use what is left to determine whether the fire started by accident, or if it was done intentionally using arson. The fire investigator will look at the available evidence, and events leading up to the fire if they are available.

To determine the cause of a fire, the investigator will use a specific scientific method. Oftentimes, experts must be called in to look at specific appliances to see if they were in working order, or if they could have caused the fire. In the case of vehicle fires, it is important to know how the vehicle was functioning during the time of the fire, so they may need to use another expert to determine whether a malfunction in the vehicle could have caused the fire.

fire-investigationThere are five things that need to be in place in order to conduct a proper fire investigation. First, the assignment is given to the investigator, which lets them know what they are needed for. Second, the investigator must plan things that could be needed during the investigation such as equipment, expert help, or tools for the job. Thirdly, the scene needs to be examined closely in order to find any possible evidence and collect it. Fourth, the evidence must be collected and carefully examined, written down, tested, and evaluated. Finally, their methods are used to determine the cause of the fire after examining the findings from the evidence collected. These are the procedures that fire use when conducting an investigation using fire science.