Kirk’s FireInvestigation    Sixth EditionJohn D. DeHaan Chapter 1Introduction                                     DeHaan, ...
NFPA 1033Standard for Professional  Qualifications for Fire      Investigator      2003 Edition                           ...
Administration• 1.1 Scope  – Standard     •Performance requirements      for fire investigators                           ...
Administration• 1.2 Purpose  – Standard     •Minimum job performance      requirements for fire      investigator in priva...
Administration• 1.2.2 Purpose  – Duties and job performance    requirements     •Parameters of the job of      fire invest...
Administration• 1.3.1 General  – The fire investigator shall be    at least age 18                                     DeH...
Administration• 1.3.2 General  – The fire investigator shall    have a high school diploma    or equivalent               ...
Administration• 1.3.3 General  – Thorough background and    character investigation prior    to accepting an individual as...
Administration• 1.3.4 General  – The job performance    requirements for fire    investigator shall be    completed in acc...
Administration• 1.3.5 General  – Training agencies or    authorities shall establish    program content to prepare    indi...
Administration• 1.3.6 General  – Evaluation of job    performance requirements    shall be by individuals    qualified to ...
Administration• 1.3.7 General  – The fire investigator shall    remain current with    investigation methodology    by att...
Fire Investigator• 4.1.1 General  – The fire investigator shall    meet the job performance    requirements defined in    ...
Fire Investigator• 4.1.2 General  – The fire investigator shall    meet the requirements of    4.2.1 through 4.2.3 of NFPA...
Fire Investigator• 4.1.3 General  – The fire investigator shall    employ all elements of the    scientific method as the ...
NFPA 921   Guide for Fire andExplosion Investigations     2004 Edition                              DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire In...
NFPA 921       2004 Edition"The Technical Committee onFire Investigations shall haveprimary responsibility relating totech...
Chapter 1      Administration• Document scope  – Fire origin  – Fire cause  – Responsibility  – Prevention                ...
Chapter 1      Administration• Document purpose  – Establish guidelines  – Recommendations     •Fire explosion investigati...
Chapter 1      Administration• Not every portion of the  document applies to every fire  or explosion investigation       ...
Chapter 4   Basic Methodology• Fire origin and then cause  – Scientific method     •Systematically develop and      prove ...
Chapter 4    Basic Methodology• Scientific method of fire  investigation   – Recognize the need   – Define the problem   –...
Chapter 4    Basic Methodology• Scientific method of fire  investigation   – Test hypotheses   – Select final hypothesis  ...
Chapter 4   Basic Methodology• Fire investigation  – Receive assignment  – Prepare for investigation  – Conduct the invest...
The FireProblem                      DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e     © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Sadd...
The Fire Problem• Fire most costly public safety  problem in U.S.• Only traffic accidents exceed  fire injuries and deaths...
The Fire Problem• Fire-caused property losses  exceed all crime losses and  rival natural disasters                       ...
The Fire Problem• 526,000 structure fires occur  annually in the U.S. (2004)• 1,550,500 total fires occurred  in 2004 in t...
The Fire Problem• Structural fires have declined  since 1980s; however, fire  losses are up due to  replacement costs• $8....
The Fire Problem• 91,000 wildland fires destroy  3–8 million acres annually,  with $900 million to $1.6  billion in suppre...
The Fire Problem• Annual deaths and injuries 1999–  2003  – 3,570–3,950 civilian deaths  – 18,000–21,875 civilians injured...
The Fire Problem• Third leading cause of  accidental death under age 15• Seventh leading cause of  accidental death in U.S...
The Fire Problem• Indirect costs of fire   – Lost business income   – Unemployment   – Reduced property values and     tax...
The Fire Problem• Total costs: $130–250 billion  per year in U.S.                                    DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire I...
The Fire Investigator• Role of the fire investigator  – Accurate and efficient fire    cause identification  – Identify ac...
The Fire Investigator• Role of the fire investigator  – Identify incendiary-caused    fires and assist in    prosecution  ...
The Detection      ofIncendiary Fires                          DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e         © 2007 Pears...
The Detection of     Incendiary Fires• Arson a leading cause of fire• 250,000 incendiary fires occur  annually in the U.S....
The Detection of     Incendiary Fires• Requires more than origin and  cause determination  – Proper collection of evidence...
The Detection of    Incendiary Fires• Issues   – Some agencies ignore arson   – Arson is a crime against     persons      ...
The Detection of     Incendiary Fires• Issues   – Fire investigations are     difficult   – Fire scenes may be     overwhe...
The Detection of     Incendiary Fires• Issues   – Fire must be investigated     prior to establishing cause   – Each fire ...
The Detection of     Incendiary Fires• Issues   – Fire investigation must be     conducted without     preconceived opinio...
Analytical    FireInvestigation                         DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e        © 2007 Pearson Educa...
Analytical Fire       Investigation• Each fire investigation must  have a foundation of an  organized approach            ...
Analytical Fire       Investigation• Fire origin and cause must be  established with certainty                            ...
Analytical Fire       Investigation• Fire science and fire dynamics  must be understood in order  to determine origin and ...
Analytical Fire        Investigation• Understanding the role of fuels is  critical  – Thermal conductivity  – Heat capacit...
Scientific Methodof Fire Investigation                             DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e            © 200...
Scientific Method• Observe an event such as a  fire scene                                   DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigat...
Scientific Method• Define the problem  – Usually to determine how    the fire started  – May include who was    responsibl...
Scientific Method• Collect data  – Information about the event     •Witness interviews     •Scene examination     •Fuel lo...
Scientific Method• Formulate a working hypothesis  – An estimate of what the first    fuel was  – What ignition source was...
Scientific Method• Test the hypothesis against all  available data  – Collect new data from the    scene  – Witnesses  – L...
Scientific Method• Test the hypothesis against all  available data  – This includes the formation    of alternative hypoth...
Scientific Method• Revise hypothesis as needed  to fit the available data• Gather new data if needed   – From published so...
Scientific Method• Reach a final hypothesis,  review it against all data, and  ensure that all other  possibilities are ex...
Scientific Method• Report the final conclusion  – Along with other possible    explanations that cannot be    excluded bas...
Sources• Sources for guidance in  methods should be peer-  reviewed published guides   – NFPA 921   – NIJ Guide   – Icove ...
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FIP 128 Ch01

  1. 1. Kirk’s FireInvestigation Sixth EditionJohn D. DeHaan Chapter 1Introduction DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  2. 2. NFPA 1033Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator 2003 Edition DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  3. 3. Administration• 1.1 Scope – Standard •Performance requirements for fire investigators DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  4. 4. Administration• 1.2 Purpose – Standard •Minimum job performance requirements for fire investigator in private and public sectors DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  5. 5. Administration• 1.2.2 Purpose – Duties and job performance requirements •Parameters of the job of fire investigator DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  6. 6. Administration• 1.3.1 General – The fire investigator shall be at least age 18 DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  7. 7. Administration• 1.3.2 General – The fire investigator shall have a high school diploma or equivalent DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  8. 8. Administration• 1.3.3 General – Thorough background and character investigation prior to accepting an individual as a candidate for certification as a fire investigator DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  9. 9. Administration• 1.3.4 General – The job performance requirements for fire investigator shall be completed in accordance with established practices and procedures or as they are defined by law or by the authority having jurisdiction DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  10. 10. Administration• 1.3.5 General – Training agencies or authorities shall establish program content to prepare individuals to meet the job performance requirements of NFPA 1033 DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  11. 11. Administration• 1.3.6 General – Evaluation of job performance requirements shall be by individuals qualified to conduct the evaluation of an investigator DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  12. 12. Administration• 1.3.7 General – The fire investigator shall remain current with investigation methodology by attending workshops/ seminars and/or through professional publications and journals DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  13. 13. Fire Investigator• 4.1.1 General – The fire investigator shall meet the job performance requirements defined in sections 4.2 through 4.7 DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  14. 14. Fire Investigator• 4.1.2 General – The fire investigator shall meet the requirements of 4.2.1 through 4.2.3 of NFPA 472 DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  15. 15. Fire Investigator• 4.1.3 General – The fire investigator shall employ all elements of the scientific method as the operating analytical process throughout the investigation and for the drawing of conclusions DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  16. 16. NFPA 921 Guide for Fire andExplosion Investigations 2004 Edition DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  17. 17. NFPA 921 2004 Edition"The Technical Committee onFire Investigations shall haveprimary responsibility relating totechniques to be used ininvestigating fires….” DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  18. 18. Chapter 1 Administration• Document scope – Fire origin – Fire cause – Responsibility – Prevention DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  19. 19. Chapter 1 Administration• Document purpose – Establish guidelines – Recommendations •Fire explosion investigations DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  20. 20. Chapter 1 Administration• Not every portion of the document applies to every fire or explosion investigation DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  21. 21. Chapter 4 Basic Methodology• Fire origin and then cause – Scientific method •Systematically develop and prove hypotheses •Organized approach to fire investigation DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  22. 22. Chapter 4 Basic Methodology• Scientific method of fire investigation – Recognize the need – Define the problem – Collect data – Analyze data – Develop hypotheses DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  23. 23. Chapter 4 Basic Methodology• Scientific method of fire investigation – Test hypotheses – Select final hypothesis DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  24. 24. Chapter 4 Basic Methodology• Fire investigation – Receive assignment – Prepare for investigation – Conduct the investigation – Collect evidence – Analyze evidence – Prepare incident reports DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  25. 25. The FireProblem DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  26. 26. The Fire Problem• Fire most costly public safety problem in U.S.• Only traffic accidents exceed fire injuries and deaths DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  27. 27. The Fire Problem• Fire-caused property losses exceed all crime losses and rival natural disasters DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  28. 28. The Fire Problem• 526,000 structure fires occur annually in the U.S. (2004)• 1,550,500 total fires occurred in 2004 in the U.S. – National Fire Protection Association – U.S. Fire Administration DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  29. 29. The Fire Problem• Structural fires have declined since 1980s; however, fire losses are up due to replacement costs• $8.3 billion in direct property losses in 2004 – National Fire Protection Association DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  30. 30. The Fire Problem• 91,000 wildland fires destroy 3–8 million acres annually, with $900 million to $1.6 billion in suppression costs• Estimated over 300,000 vehicle fires each year in U.S. – National Fire Protection Association DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  31. 31. The Fire Problem• Annual deaths and injuries 1999– 2003 – 3,570–3,950 civilian deaths – 18,000–21,875 civilians injured – 100 firefighter deaths – 40,000 firefighters injured •National Fire Protection Association DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  32. 32. The Fire Problem• Third leading cause of accidental death under age 15• Seventh leading cause of accidental death in U.S. – National Fire Protection Association DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  33. 33. The Fire Problem• Indirect costs of fire – Lost business income – Unemployment – Reduced property values and tax base – Destroyed watershed, timber, wildlife DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  34. 34. The Fire Problem• Total costs: $130–250 billion per year in U.S. DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  35. 35. The Fire Investigator• Role of the fire investigator – Accurate and efficient fire cause identification – Identify accidental fire causes to lead to improved products and practices DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  36. 36. The Fire Investigator• Role of the fire investigator – Identify incendiary-caused fires and assist in prosecution – Assist in regulatory process with proper knowledge of fire prevention DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  37. 37. The Detection ofIncendiary Fires DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  38. 38. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Arson a leading cause of fire• 250,000 incendiary fires occur annually in the U.S. – Includes structural, wildland •United States Fire Administration – Conservative estimate by NFPA: 37,000 incendiary structure fires DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  39. 39. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Requires more than origin and cause determination – Proper collection of evidence – Written and verbal documentation – Identify perpetrator – Testify in court DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  40. 40. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Issues – Some agencies ignore arson – Arson is a crime against persons •Fire may be used as weapon DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  41. 41. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Issues – Fire investigations are difficult – Fire scenes may be overwhelming in scope DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  42. 42. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Issues – Fire must be investigated prior to establishing cause – Each fire investigation must be handled as if it were a crime scene DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  43. 43. The Detection of Incendiary Fires• Issues – Fire investigation must be conducted without preconceived opinions, bias, or prejudice DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  44. 44. Analytical FireInvestigation DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  45. 45. Analytical Fire Investigation• Each fire investigation must have a foundation of an organized approach DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  46. 46. Analytical Fire Investigation• Fire origin and cause must be established with certainty DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  47. 47. Analytical Fire Investigation• Fire science and fire dynamics must be understood in order to determine origin and cause DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  48. 48. Analytical Fire Investigation• Understanding the role of fuels is critical – Thermal conductivity – Heat capacity – Ignition – Flame spread – Heat of combustion – Heat release rate DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  49. 49. Scientific Methodof Fire Investigation DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  50. 50. Scientific Method• Observe an event such as a fire scene DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  51. 51. Scientific Method• Define the problem – Usually to determine how the fire started – May include who was responsible and what factors contributed to the fire or deaths or injuries DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  52. 52. Scientific Method• Collect data – Information about the event •Witness interviews •Scene examination •Fuel load •Videos or photographs of fire in progress DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  53. 53. Scientific Method• Formulate a working hypothesis – An estimate of what the first fuel was – What ignition source was present – How long the fire took to grow – Etc. DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  54. 54. Scientific Method• Test the hypothesis against all available data – Collect new data from the scene – Witnesses – Literature – Tests DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  55. 55. Scientific Method• Test the hypothesis against all available data – This includes the formation of alternative hypotheses that must be tested DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  56. 56. Scientific Method• Revise hypothesis as needed to fit the available data• Gather new data if needed – From published sources – From tests – From interviews DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  57. 57. Scientific Method• Reach a final hypothesis, review it against all data, and ensure that all other possibilities are excluded DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  58. 58. Scientific Method• Report the final conclusion – Along with other possible explanations that cannot be excluded based on available information DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ
  59. 59. Sources• Sources for guidance in methods should be peer- reviewed published guides – NFPA 921 – NIJ Guide – Icove and DeHaan, Forensic Fire Scene Reconstr uction DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 6/e © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ

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