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Forensic Fire Investigation Strategies and Solutions

The aftermath of a fire or explosion can be devasting. After the initial steps are taken by first responders to ensure immediate safety and relief, it is typically critical to receive clarity on the origin and cause of the fire event, along with potential prevention strategies for the future. Hiring an expert engineer/fire investigator is needed to explain the science of why and how the fire happened, as well as contributing factors/responsibility. CED provides certified fire and explosion investigators who are also professional engineers to meet this need.

The main goal of a fire inspection is to determine the origin and cause. Where/when/how did the fire originate? Who or what is responsible? Was the cause accidental or deliberate? How can this be prevented in the future? Investigators will make decisions of collecting the appropriate physical evidence from the scene followed by preservation of the retained items and a detailed evidence inspection and associated analysis. It is necessary that the investigation is completed efficiently, accurately, and in compliance with professional standards and legal requirements. During the fire investigation, CED engineers routinely analyze both building and fire code compliance at the loss location.

At CED, fire and explosion investigation services include code compliance analysis (NFPA, IFC, etc.), site and equipment inspections, computer modeling to determine probable point of origin and movement, laboratory disassembly and investigation of fire damaged equipment, material combustibility analysis and testing, laboratory simulations of fires on exemplar equipment and more. Additionally, for increased accuracy and efficiency in analysis, we utilize technical equipment including temperature measuring and recording equipment, carbon monoxide sampling meters, smoke making apparatus, electronic measuring equipment, laboratory equipment for analyzing material properties and accelerants, etc. The combination of technical equipment and highly trained expert investigators at CED will create an efficient and seamless process during your next fire investigation claim.

When searching for an expert to investigate your situation, it is a best practice to obtain an expert who has achieved a certification in fire investigation such as the Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) qualification. This qualification requires an attendance of a rigorous training program administered by the National Association of Fire Investigators that is designed to span many disciplines to properly train an investigator to accurately determine the origin and cause of a fire or explosion. It teaches an understanding of the behaviors of numerous types of fire or explosion events and the use of a systematic scientific approach and attention to all relevant details.

CED’s fire investigators are not only credentialed but are licensed engineers with extensive technical backgrounds in engineering. Whether your fire or explosion involves a building, appliance, motor vehicle, watercraft, or any other structure or device, CED has the experts you need to accurately determine its origin, cause, and prevention strategies.

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