Importance of Fire and Explosion Investigations

Importance of Fire and Explosion Investigations

  03 Sep 2018

Investigations follow a fire or explosion to determine the cause of the incident and the extent of the damages incurred. Investigators respond quickly and do their job concisely in order to provide a detailed report on the incident and determine liability. Below are situations fire and explosion investigations play an important role in:

Investigating Fires

Usually, it is not easy to detect intentional structural fires, especially due to firefighting practices utilized for preventing fires from spreading. However, arson is quite common. Fire investigators can determine what causes a fire and disclose suspicious circumstances which could point to arson. Fire investigators examine scorch patterns, accelerants, origin, spreading, and the burned area’s condition to determine whether or not the fire resulted from arson. They work to detect arson and prevent insurance fraud. With their experience in investigating fires and delivering expert testimony to juries and judges, building owners will benefit from their services.


Determining the Cause of Construction Defects

Even a single defect in any construction project can result in serious damages or compromise the entire project. In case defects exist, their root cause must be determined. Investigators will identify the party responsible for such defects and take actions to minimize losses. Expert engineers can help in identifying liability and seeking appropriate restitution following a construction defect.

Investigating Wildfires

Every year, wildfire causes significant damages in properties. Wildfire can take place in various circumstances. Fire engineers perform fuel content analysis, topographic reviews, fire shape analysis, and fire pattern identification to understand a fire’s root cause. They make use of tools and techniques such as ground-level pattern analysis as well as aerial videography and photography to know where the fire started. Also, they use advanced computer fire modeling programs to establish a detailed model of the fire and its spread.

Investigating Spontaneous Ignition

A fire can happen spontaneously and cause an abrupt and intense conflagration. This usually takes place during chemical or organic reactions. Investigators can determine the cause of the incident and recommend safety precautions and appropriate practices so that a premise can avoid the same incident in the future.

Identifying Process Plants System Failures

When the critical systems in a process plant fail, the plant may lose significant production time which could result in a loss of revenues. From pharmaceutical and food service industries to metal and chemical production industries, a failure of plant system processes can result in catastrophes. Investigators can determine common failure points in process machinery such as valve failure, broken pumps, boilers, and more. They collect data, interview workers, and examine maintenance and service records to identify what causes a systems failure. This provides information on what happened. Investigators will also recommend steps to avoid such failures in the future.

Investigating Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are quite common in residential buildings but can also happen in commercial buildings. They are usually caused by some kind of electrical malfunction. They could be caused by a faulty wiring, lightning, or electrical distribution malfunctions. It is not easy to determine what contributes an electrical fire but professional fire investigators can do it effectively through fire testing. Also, they can determine liability, rule out arson, and work with insurance adjusters.