Investigative Resources       Chapter 17                    © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
Objectives• Describe the various resources to keep the  investigator safe• Describe various investigative tools that are  ...
Case Study• An entire city block was burned• This fire was a great example of the use of  outside resources  – Within hour...
Introduction• It is important for the fire officer to know about  the tools and resources available to the  assigned inves...
Protecting the Investigator• Fire suppression officer safety resources are  limited to full turnout gear• Assigned investi...
Gloves         Figure 17-1 Every         investigator should         have an ample         supply of gloves at         eac...
Testing the Environment• Suppression forces should have been testing  the environment before leaving the scene• Best for t...
Tools• Safety Tools  – It may be necessary to enter a hazardous    environment involving potential ignitable vapors  – Any...
The Investigator’s Toolbox• Standard tools are needed  –   Assortment of screwdrivers and pliers  –   Socket along with ex...
Larger Tools• Shovels: Flat blade, pointed blade, and a large  scoop shovel• A fire axe is necessary for larger tasks• A h...
Lighting• A good, strong, dependable flashlight is  absolutely essential  – Generator with floodlights also useful        ...
Location• Technology can help identify the exact location  of each piece of evidence discovered  – Specialized tools can g...
Camera• Suppression personnel can make use of a good  quality point-and-shoot camera  – Minimum of 8-megapixel photos and ...
Camera (cont’d.)• Assigned investigator should have a digital  single-lens reflex (SLR) camera  – With a larger flash atta...
Incident Management• National Incident Management System is a  template for all aspects of emergency services  – Including...
Additional Expertise• An association should be created with  neighboring jurisdictions  – Purpose of most fire investigati...
Forensics• Specialized tools for the discovery and  collection of latent prints• Many other forensic tools and processes a...
State and Federal Resources• State may have resources that can be of benefit  – Investigators from the state police or sta...
Other Resources• Many states have environmental agencies with  enforcement divisions  – Can assist with identification of ...
Detecting Accelerants• Accelerant is something that accelerates the fire  – Presence of an accelerant is not proof of an  ...
Hydrocarbon Detector• Device that can discern the presence of a  hydrocarbon fuel at a minute level  – Gives an alert or p...
Accelerant Dogs              Figure 17-3 The              accelerant dog is a              great resource for             ...
Insurance Companies• Insurance company may send one of its own  investigators• Insurance fire investigator may determine t...
Insurance Companies (cont’d.)• Insurance investigator and assigned public  investigator may work together  – Arson immunit...
Specialized Investigations• Bomb devices or postblast scenes may require  the assistance of the bomb unit from police  dep...
Specialized Information• Even specialists may need to look up  information that is not readily available in their  resourc...
Summary• The first resource to consider are those that  help protect the fire investigator on the scene  – Policies and pr...
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Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

  1. 1. Investigative Resources Chapter 17 © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  2. 2. Objectives• Describe the various resources to keep the investigator safe• Describe various investigative tools that are necessary to work a fire scene• Describe two types of cameras that can be used on the fire scene• Describe the benefits of creating a local fire investigative association © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  3. 3. Case Study• An entire city block was burned• This fire was a great example of the use of outside resources – Within hours, specialized units and personnel showed up from federal, state and surrounding localities, including a K-9 accelerant dog from the ATF• Next morning’s meeting revealed that the sample was positive for gasoline• The perpetrator was never identified © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  4. 4. Introduction• It is important for the fire officer to know about the tools and resources available to the assigned investigator• Teamwork is more productive if the first responder understands all aspects of the full investigation © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  5. 5. Protecting the Investigator• Fire suppression officer safety resources are limited to full turnout gear• Assigned investigator should have several levels of protection available – From coveralls to fully encapsulated suits• To ensure that all guidelines and regulations are met, best to approach those who enforce OSHA regulations © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  6. 6. Gloves Figure 17-1 Every investigator should have an ample supply of gloves at each investigation. © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  7. 7. Testing the Environment• Suppression forces should have been testing the environment before leaving the scene• Best for the investigator to obtain a three or four-gas monitor/detector – Detector needs to measure at least available oxygen and the carbon monoxide levels © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  8. 8. Tools• Safety Tools – It may be necessary to enter a hazardous environment involving potential ignitable vapors – Any metal tool is capable of creating a spark – Non-sparking tools are usually made of brass, bronze, or other metal compounds – All tools need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried • Do not use any oil-based lubricants © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  9. 9. The Investigator’s Toolbox• Standard tools are needed – Assortment of screwdrivers and pliers – Socket along with extenders and handles – Various saws and cutting tools – Hammer, hatchet, and a small maul – Multi-tool containing knife• Battery-operated tools are also a great assistance• The best tools of all: mason’s trowels © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  10. 10. Larger Tools• Shovels: Flat blade, pointed blade, and a large scoop shovel• A fire axe is necessary for larger tasks• A hux bar, or similar tool, can be handy for prying and forcing © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  11. 11. Lighting• A good, strong, dependable flashlight is absolutely essential – Generator with floodlights also useful © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  12. 12. Location• Technology can help identify the exact location of each piece of evidence discovered – Specialized tools can give an exact latitude and longitude of each point at a fire scene – Create a computerized report showing the location• A compass is essential to make sure the investigative diagrams are oriented correctly to magnetic north © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  13. 13. Camera• Suppression personnel can make use of a good quality point-and-shoot camera – Minimum of 8-megapixel photos and at least 3x optics – Memory disc should be at least 1.0 gigabyte – Most limiting factor for any point-and-shoot camera is the flash © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  14. 14. Camera (cont’d.)• Assigned investigator should have a digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera – With a larger flash attachment that accepts various lenses – Manual settings that allow the photographer to change the depth of field and shutter speed• Depth of field is important © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  15. 15. Incident Management• National Incident Management System is a template for all aspects of emergency services – Including the investigative scene• Accountability process is essential to safety © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  16. 16. Additional Expertise• An association should be created with neighboring jurisdictions – Purpose of most fire investigation associations is the sharing of information – Creation of mutual aid between the jurisdictions – Training opportunities © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  17. 17. Forensics• Specialized tools for the discovery and collection of latent prints• Many other forensic tools and processes at the investigator’s disposal – Collection of residual blood for serology – Tool mark impression examination – Paint chip examination – Debris examination for trace residue of a petroleum distillate © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  18. 18. State and Federal Resources• State may have resources that can be of benefit – Investigators from the state police or state fire marshal’s office may be able to assist on the scene• Federal Bureau of Investigation has a great laboratory and personnel• Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is an outstanding resource – Field agents, national response team, and laboratory © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  19. 19. Other Resources• Many states have environmental agencies with enforcement divisions – Can assist with identification of unknown chemicals or substances• Chemistry teaching staff at a college can be a wealth of knowledge• Local building contractor can provide training opportunities © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  20. 20. Detecting Accelerants• Accelerant is something that accelerates the fire – Presence of an accelerant is not proof of an intentionally set fire © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  21. 21. Hydrocarbon Detector• Device that can discern the presence of a hydrocarbon fuel at a minute level – Gives an alert or provides a metered display• Needs calibration on a regular basis• Advantageous to use a multi device – Scan for the presence of hydrocarbons – Read the atmosphere for the lower explosive limit © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  22. 22. Accelerant Dogs Figure 17-3 The accelerant dog is a great resource for locating the best sample to send to the laboratory. © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  23. 23. Insurance Companies• Insurance company may send one of its own investigators• Insurance fire investigator may determine that the fire was incendiary in nature – Can then deny the insurance claim based on the terms of the policy © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  24. 24. Insurance Companies (cont’d.)• Insurance investigator and assigned public investigator may work together – Arson immunity act usually provides ability of insurance company to share information with public investigator without fear of civil liability – Public investigator can share information but may need to keep criminal information confidential as per the jurisdictions investigative policy © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  25. 25. Specialized Investigations• Bomb devices or postblast scenes may require the assistance of the bomb unit from police departments• Wildland fires create unique scenes• Hazardous materials also provide unique situations – Local or regional Hazardous Materials Response Team could be of great value © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  26. 26. Specialized Information• Even specialists may need to look up information that is not readily available in their resource manuals – The Internet is the next valuable resource investigators have at their disposal © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning
  27. 27. Summary• The first resource to consider are those that help protect the fire investigator on the scene – Policies and procedures must be created to ensure that proper equipment is available• Setting up a local fire investigation association allows neighboring jurisdictions to band together• State and federal resources (such as ATF support) can also be a great help © 2009 Delmar, Cengage Learning

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