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Flashcards in Arson SA + MC Deck (54)
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When Speaking to Fire Incident Controller what questions do you ask?

1) Time, Date and Manner of the call
2) What Appliances attended
3) The state of the fire when the fire service arrived
4) What action the fire service has taken, particularly around entry and ventilation
5) Info about buildings security
6) What alterations they have made to the scene
7) Whether they think the fire is suspicious
8) Their opinions on the informant
9) details of suspicious vehicle and people


10 signs of deliberate fire

1) Hindering Access
2) Evidence of explosives
3) Misdirecting firefighters
4) Multiple seats of fire
5) Uneven burning
6) Unusually rapid spread or intensity of fire
7) Signs that a heater, soldering iron or other electrical appliance has been left on
8) Signs that furniture was rearranged
9) Smell of petrol or chemicals
10) Tampering with sprinkler/alarm system


Claim of Right

In relation to any act, means a belief at the time in a proprietary or possessory right in property in relation to which the offence is alleged to have been committed, although that belief may be based on ignorance or mistake of fact or any matter of law other than the enactment against which the offences is alleged to have been committed
SEC 2 CA 61


Arson Offence

Section 267(1)(a), Crimes Act 1961
14 years

- Intentionally OR Recklessly
- Damages by Fire OR Damages by means of explosive
- Any Property
- If he or she knows "or" out to know that danger to life is likely to ensue



Explosive - Sec 2 AA 83
Any substance or mixture or combination of substances which in its normal state is capable either of decomposition at such rapid rates to result in an explosion or of producing a pyrotechnic effect,
Includes: Gunpowder, gelignite, detonators
Does not Include: Firearms, Fireworks


Damage by Fire

Although fire damage will often involve burning or charring, it is not necessary that the property is actually set alight; melting, blistering of paint or significant smoke damage may be sufficient.


When must fire service report fire to Police

Serious Injury


Where do you start when conducting a prelim internal investigation

From the least damage into the most damaged/seat of the fire


What must you do when a fire has been started by explosive

clear the scene in-case a secondary device is present


Who must you liase with at the scene

Fire service incident controller


When can a person be held liable for recklessness?

When they know or ought to know that life or property is in danger or damaged


R v Archer

Property may be damaged if it suffers permanent or temporary physical harm or permanent or temporary impairment of its use or value.

In R v Archer the defendant was charged with arson after setting fire to some toilet paper in the bathroom of a church, resulting in “blackening” to the top of the sink.



Section 267(1)(b), Crimes Act 1961
14 years

- Intentionally OR Recklessly
- And without claim of right
- Damages by Fire OR Damages by means of explosive
- Any immovable property or any vehicle, ship or aircraft in which that person has no interest



Includes real or personal property, and any estate or interest in any real or personal property, money, electricity, and any debt and anything in action, and any other right or interest
SEC 2 CA 61


Difference between gas explosion and someone setting explosives

Explosions caused by gas cover a wider area than those caused by explosives and they do not leave a crater


Someone is a tenant in a house and cooks food and burns the house down.
Case law?

No liability
R v Wilson
Tenant means a person has an interest in the property in in the absence of aggravating features the person has a defence


Sec 28 Fire Service Act

1) Close Roads
2) Remove vehicle impeding the Fire Service
3) Remove people who are in danger of interfering with operations - Reasonable force if necessary
4) Enter private property when it is on fire or endangered or essential to perform duty
5) Do anything else that is reasonably necessary to protect life and property.


Surrounding areas of the external examination may reveal what?

1) Accelerant containers
2) Contents of outbuildings missing
3) Property run downs
4) Business appears to be struggling


Points to note in relation to Preliminary internal examination

1) Low Stock
2) Signs of hardship
3) Presence of accelerant containers or trails
4) Separate unrelated seats of fire
5) Unusual odors
6) Burn Patterns
7) Rifled Presmises
8) Owner/Occupier attitude during walk through


At conclusion of examination the fire service will be asked to determine what

1) Area of origin
2) Point of origin
3) The seat of the fire



Intent involves a decision to bring about the commission of an offence


Police duties when guarding the scene

1) Watch for possible suspects
2) Ensure scene is not interfered with
3) Exclusion and control of onlookers and property owners
4) Report all matters of significance to O/C
5) Be aware of re-ignition from hotspots
6) identify witnesses from onlookers
7) Preserve evidence
8) Prevent looting


Confrences must be held during the scene examination to assist with

1) Planning further inquiries
2) Establishing motives
3) Assessing information
4) Reconstruction
5) Identifying suspects


Actions after conference

1) Appoint exhibit officer
2) Appoint a crime scene coordinator
3) Appoint a scene examiner
4) Advise the fire investigation liaison officer


Initial action involving explosives

1) Remember there may be a secondary device
2) Do not use cell phones/radios
3) Evacuate the scene to 100m
4) If IED found obtain assistance from department of labour or defence force
5) regular sitreps


Providing explosives to commit an offence

Section 272 Crimes Act 1961
2 Years

- Knowingly
- Has in his or her possession OR Makes
- Any explosive substance OR any dangerous engine, instrument, or thing
- With intent to use OR enable another person to use the substance, dangerous engine, instrument, or thing, - To commit an offence.


Building an explosive, what must prosecution prove

1) the defendant knew what the substance was
The defendant knowingly had the substance in his possession and knew it was an explosive substance


People to interview on arrival at arson

1) Informant
2) Specialist Fire Investigator
3) O/C of first appliance
4) Incident Controller


Scene Guard for explosive - what steps to take

1) Remember there may be a secondary device
2) Do not use cell phones/radios
3) Evacuate the scene to 100m


What is involved in a Scene Examination of a fire involving explosives

1) Video and photograph scene
2) Continually reconstruct
3) Request attendance of suitably experienced ESR analyst
4) Swab scene and hands, examine clothes of suspect