This booklet presents the principles of an investigation at a fire and arson scene, so as to ensure that potential physical evidence is not tainted or destroyed or potential witnesses overlooked.
These principles of fire-arson scene investigation were developed by the 31-member Technical Working Group on Fire/Arson Scene Investigation, a multidisciplinary group of content area experts from across the United States and Canada, from both urban and rural jurisdictions. All working group members are experienced in the investigation of fires, the analysis of evidence gathered, or the use in the criminal justice system of information produced by the investigation. It is the intention of this guide to acquaint a broad spectrum of public safety personnel with the fire investigation process, so they may understand their role in helping to identify, locate, and preserve evidence in its varied forms, to either assist a specialist investigator when one is needed or to document and collect evidence when no assistance is needed or available. In focusing on the documentation and collection of physical evidence at fire/arson scenes, the guide discusses the role of first responders, evaluation of the scene, documenting the scene, processing evidence at the scene, and completing the scene investigation. Appended documentation examples, 17 suggestions for additional reading, and lists of national resources, points of contact, and organizations
Date Published: June 1, 2000