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Fire Expert – “Evidence – Handle With Care”

“Spoliation of evidence” as defined in the National Fire Protection’s Guide to Fire and Explosion Investigations (NFPA 921), is “the loss, destruction, or material alteration of an object or document that is evidence or potential evidence in a legal proceeding ...
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Fire Fatalities (Part 4) “Notification and the Responsibitlity of Fire Suppression Crews”

Notification Due to legal and procedural requirements, some of the initial considerations that should be made by the lead investigator prior to conducting the physical inspection of the fire scene is first notifying appropriate authorities.  This may include the local ...
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Fire Fatalities (Part 3) “The Team”

A quality investigation cannot be conducted without first establishing an “Investigation Team”. The team may be comprised of firefighters, fire investigators, police officers, detectives, state and federal investigators or other forensic experts to collectively develop a plan of action. As ...
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Fire Fatalities (Part 2) “Planning the Investigation”

The investigating officer must consider a number of things prior to beginning a fatality fire investigation.  It is critical to the investigation that ample time is afforded to the “pre-planning” process to insure that the investigation is conducted in a ...
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Fire Fatality Investigations – Staying Focused (Part 1)

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s “United States Fire Loss Report for 2011”, U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated 1,389,500 fires which resulted in 3,005 civilian deaths.   That equates to one civilian death every 3 1/2 hours.  Investigation ...
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The Risk and Liability Associated with Consumer Use of Fireworks

As a 26 year fire service veteran, 17 of which I served as a Fire Investigator and Fire Marshal, every 4th of July and the few days preceding, I have witnessed just about everything imaginable associated with consumer fireworks usage ...
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