All fire investigators are required to possess the basic skills that are needed to determine the cause and origin of a fire. The textbook and Unit I Lesson discuss these skills.
For this assignment, you will discuss fire investigation, the skills and knowledge required to conduct an official investigation, and the steps of the scientific method. Specifically, address the prompts below, and describe the process of how they are applied during fire investigations in your agency or community.
Describe the basic elements of fire dynamics chemistry and combustion.
Discuss the skills required to develop a cause and origin investigation.
List and explain the seven steps of the scientific method.
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||5||Style||APA|
Fire Investigation and the Required Skills
Fire investigation is a fundamental process, which documents details about the cause of the events, and the source of fire alongside other potential factors related with the incident. This paper provides a discussion of the fire investigation process, the required skills of a fire investigator, and the scientific method steps implemented during the investigation.
Basic Elements of Fire Dynamics Chemistry and Combustion
For a fire to start, four fundamental components must be experienced. The elements include heat, oxidizing agent, fuel and uninhibited chemical chain reaction (Fire Safety Advice Center, 2016). The combination of the four components is termed as the fire tetrahedron. Removing one of the elements extinguishes the fire. As the fire takes place, the materials have the capacity to change their physical state as the heat power breaks the bond forming their shape. The phase changes entail vaporization and melting (Fire Safety Advice Center, 2016).
The skills required to develop a cause and origin investigation
To complete the cause and origin investigation, several skills are required. For instance, one should have desirable analytical skills. This will be effective towards the employment of the necessary scientific methods during the investigation. Effective communication skills is also necessary to ensure that an individual desirable reports the findings of the investigation to the relevant stakeholders for appropriate measures to be undertaken in time. It is also recommended that one should possess desirable survey skills (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013). This will make it easier for the person to secure the fire ground and interpret the fire pattern which is necessary towards controlling the incident. Moreover, one should have desirable preservation and presentation skills. With requisite skills of preservation, one can easily locate and collect any evidence related with the fire required for the analysis process. Desirable presentation is necessary since it allows the investigator to effectively prepare a written report outlining the investigative findings for the review process (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
The seven steps of the scientific method.
Step 1: Need Recognition
The first step of the process requires the fire investigator to respond to the fire event after an effective recognition of the need and the responsible persons, thus preventing the occurrence of future similar events and losses (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 2: Problem definition
At this phase, a tentative and desirable strategic plan is devised, fundamental authority and responsibilities determined as well as the nature and the factors which caused the fire (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 3: Data collection
All the relevant details associated with the fire are collected at this point after testing and witness interviewing (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 4: Data Analysis
The fire pattern and the caused damages will be evaluated at this stage. Additionally, test predictions will also be done based on information such as loss histories (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 5: Working hypothesis Development
Based on the data obtained from the data analysis step, a tentative working hypothesis will be developed with an aim of addressing the mathematical or causal relationships of the potential factors which resulted to the fire incident (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 6: Working hypothesis testing
At this stage, all the known facts and details about the fire are outlined and compared to the hypothesis. Recommendations will be made about the additional data or analysis required to ensure that all the possible causes of fire are eliminated (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Step 7: Final hypothesis selection
The final step of the process involves outlining the expert opinion or conclusion about the ignition sources and the cause of the fire. This is documented in an expert report (Icove, DeHaan & Haynes, 2013).
Fire Safety Advice Center, (2016). Information about the Fire Triangle/Tetrahedron and Combustion. https://www.firesafe.org.uk/information-about-the-fire-triangletetrahedron-and-combustion/
Icove, D., DeHaan, J. & Haynes, G. (2013). Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction. Pearson. https://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/samplechapter/0/1/3/5/0135082633.pdf