How to Approach Fire Origin and Cause Cases

Fire Origin and Cause, known as Fire O&C, refers to the process that fire investigators take when reviewing an incident. Sequence matters here – investigators must first determine the origin of the fire and then they can investigate the cause.  

Not all fire experts provide the same level of investigation. While many may figure out the origin of a fire, having proper training and experience investigating fire and explosion accidents is key to determining the cause. Engineering experts understand the science of fire and explosion. CED’s fire investigation group is tasked to perform O&C. This group consists of engineers with specialized training and certifications that keeps our investigators up to date on contemporary fire investigation methodology. These engineers also have a current certification in fire investigation. If your claim or legal case involves a fire or explosion, make sure your expert has a certification in fire investigation.

When selecting the fire expert for your claim or legal case, it may help to retain an expert with dual expertise. Consider a fire that resulted from water leakage onto an electrical box. The water came from a pipe that may not have been properly installed. Perhaps the structure of the building did not comply with the accepted building code. This investigation usually starts with the CFEI conducting the fire O&C to determine origin. In determining the cause, other experts such as plumbing/mechanical and construction/civil engineers may be needed. Cost savings can be achieved by retaining an expert who has dual expertise, such as a mechanical engineer or an electrical engineer that also has a certification in fire investigation.

Simplify the search for the right expert and contact CED to find experts who are trained to understand proper inspection procedure. See our full list of engineers here.