Firefighters: Fire Investigation

The fire investigation team moves through the ashes and the sound of crackling wood for a reason. They know there was a fire, they notice its dying breath all around them, now they need to find out what really happened here.

What started the fire? From what direction did the fire come from? How did the fire spread? What contributed to the fire? And how could it have been avoided? - these are just a few questions they have.

It quite hard to investigate a fire and answer most questions. All investigation and forensic science is difficult and meticulous and fire investigation is no exception. Most of the evidence in a fire scene is already destroyed and one of the first questions an investigator would have is: whether it was arson, or not.

There are usual signs of foul play yet the investigator needs to know where to look. The first thing is to examine all the remnants and charred objects left on the scene, or find out from witnesses about any events leading up to the fire. If there are witnesses, well and good, yet you still have to ask the right questions.

There are systems and certain scientific methods used by investigators to find out the cause of fire. A professional investigator would have other resources available to him. Such as experts who can look into things beyond his knowledge. He might need to know about a particular 'suspect' appliance, and there are experts who can tell him about it. Even with cars, it would be necessary to know which part of the car wasn't functioning properly. And what may or may not be the cause. All these things are necessary to know about in a fire investigation.

Now procedure is also important for any proper investigation. An investigator needs to plan properly and acquire all the right tools, information and equipment. The scene needs to be thoroughly examined from end to end. Whether evidence exists or doesn't, you still need to go through a certain plan to sift through the scene. Even the most random piece of information is just a piece of a puzzle. All evidence that is collected needs to be examined carefully, and all findings need to be written down, tested and evaluated for the right conclusion.

Now you need to be certified from the International Association of Arson investigators to be able to take a shot at fire investigations. And there is a further level as well. There's a national certificate you can get through the National Association of Fire Investigators. This group also has a level for specialization. You can be certified in vehicle fire investigations, explosive investigations and also as an instructor.

Whatever you choose, there's a high degree of intelligence, curiosity and aptitude necessary. Patience is another virtue that you need to possess even if people need swift answers. Don't jump to conclusions - you need to patiently sift through all the intricate and minuscule pieces of evidence available. There is a right answer. you just have to find it.