Fire accidents and explosions often have devastating consequences. Damage by fire often means that most of the possible key clues and evidences get destroyed, as well. This can impact investigations in a big manner. There are companies that specialize in forensic fire investigation, where they focus on various advanced methods, not merely to just find the cause, but also help authorities like NFPA and IAAI in creating standards for safety and investigation. So, what exactly happens in fire and explosion investigation? In this guide, we are sharing some of the basics.
The initial groundwork
For most accidents, the first step of fire investigation is to check things visually and determine the possible sources of origin. Investigators will further take photographs and videos, and interviews will be taken of people, who may have been witnesses or have key information. Then starts the systematic fire investigation, where casual factors are established. In many cases, the case is related to electrical malfunctions, natural factors like lightening, and product issues, which may have caused a shortcut. Electrical engineers are roped in to check the same.
In fire investigation, mechanical and civil engineers are also involved. While mechanical engineers focus on possible ways in which fueled appliances may have caused the incident or contributed to it, civil engineers explore other aspects like fireplaces. Depending on the extent of damage and other factors, fire protection engineers also help in finding, if necessary protection and safety measures were adhered to.
The need for chemical analysis
Investigation also means collecting samples and doing chemical analysis, to find various materials that may have caused the spread of fire, or could have responsible for ignition. The collected data and sample reports are then matched and corroborated with other information, like witness statements, to draw a possible conclusion.
When it comes to fire and explosion investigation¸ it’s best to work with an agency that has experience in the field and will offer a conclusive and easy-to-understand report. Find more how they work at the basic level, structure and composition of their teams, and if their details can be actually as evidence for further investigation or to handle legal matters.
The need of forensic fire and explosion investigation is obvious in many cases, where there is loss of life, material or property, and it allows the parties involved to reach a conclusion, so as to take concrete steps for better fire safety at various levels.