Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Evidence's Role in Arson Investigations

It's hard for the investigators to indentify the arsonist after an incendiary fire. However, it always happens, and what should we do?

The investigators should observe the scene as soon as possible, especially for those fires in the commercial buildings. The observations and investigations during the fire play a very important role in finding out the answer. The investigator should follow the clues in the scene and the major characteristics should be recorded.

The following steps should be observed while conducting an arson investigation.

If you notice the location and direction of the flames, you could locate the source of the fire quickly. It's the first step for the investigator to locate the fire point. The wind direction and construction materials affect the fire direction. If there are two or more separate blazes in the scene, it means there are at least one fire spot.

The height and color of flames show something about the fire, and an experienced fire investigator will read some information about the fire from these two factors. Flame color change from red to yellow at different situations. The caloric value of certain substances causes them to emit a unique color during combustion. In the same way, the smoke color matters too. Fire brings about a vapor which includes minute particles of the fuel being burned. The color of this vapor, usually called smoke, can show us the nature of the burning fuel. Thick and black smoke indicates a heavy carbon fuel such as gasoline. These materials are easy for arsonist to find out on the market.

The smell at the scene can also provide evidences. Gasoline and diesel fuel smell differently. The investigator should also know the scent given off by other popular promoters such as tar or paint.

Identify and interview witnesses at the fire scene are important. You should ask the witnesses at the scene as possible because they may provide you with valuable information about the fire.

Smith Frogaman - EzineArticles Expert Author
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