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Flashcards in FO-17 Cause/Determination Deck (68)

Who is responsible for conducting the preliminary fire investigation as well as completing the NFIRS documents?

The incident commander, however he may delegate it to the OIC of the 1st arriving company. (332)


What are some criteria that call for a mandatory fire investigation?

Any fire that results in serious injury or fatality, or appears to be arson or related to a crime act. (332)


What are the 3 leading causes of fire?

Cooking (33%), Unknown (19%), Heating (10%). (333)


What is a fire investigators primary responsibility?

To develop a properly documented case to be forwarded to the prosecutor. (333)


What is the point of origin of a fire?

The exact physical location where a heat source and fuel come in contact with each other. (333)


What is the 3 step process to determining the cause of a fire? IN ORDER

Determine the source of ignition, determine the fuel first ignited, determine the circumstances or human actions that allowed the fuel and ignition source to come together. (335)


What must happen before a fire cause in considered incendiary or intentional?

All accidental causes must be considered and eliminated. (335)


What is the source of ignition of a fire?

The energy source that caused the material to ignite. (335)


What 3 components does a competent ignition source have?

Generation, transmission, and heating. (335)


What is the difference between type and form of material?

Type- nature of the material (cotton) Form-how the material is used (cotton balls, cotton plants, rolled cotton)(335)


What is failure analysis?

The systematic exam of an item to determine the probability of real failure. (336)


What is fire analysis?

The scientific process of examining a fire to determine all the facts and determine responsibility for whatever occurred. (336)


Where are cause and origin interviews typically conducted?

At the fire scene. (337)


Who can conduct an interrogation?

Only a trained police of fire investigator. (337)


FF respond to (more/=/less) vehicle fires than structure fires?

More. (337)


What % of vehicle fires are caused by mechanical failure or malfunction?

47% of them (337)


What vehicle info must be documented on a vehicle fire?

Make, model, year, VIN. (338)


What environmental conditions influence wildland fires?

Topography, fuel load, wind, weather. (338)


How do wildland fires tend to spread?

Vertically through convection and horizontally through radiation. (338)


When a tree burns and falls and leaves a point on the stump, the fire usually came from which side?

The point is on the side of the stump opposite the direction of fire approach. (338)


What 4 classifications are fires generally divided into?

Accidental, natural, incendiary, undetermined. (338)


What is the most frequent ignition cause of residential fires? What %

Unattended cooking. 33% (338)


What are the 2 primary ignition causes in heating fires?

Improper maintenance and combustibles to close to the heating device. (338)


What is pyrolysis?

The gradual lowering of the ignition temperature of wood until autoignition occurs. (339)


What is the most common electrical fire scenario?

Misuse by the occupant such as overloading, using lightweight extension cords, or operating to many devices for the electrical service. (339)


What is always the direct cause of incendiary fire?

A person. (339)


What is a fire that was intentionally started when the person knows it should not be started?

Incendiary. (339)


What is the crime of malicious and intentional or reckless starting a fire or causing an explosion?

Arson. (339)


What must be done before making a determination of an incendiary cause?

Eliminate both accidental and natural causes. (341)


What are accelerants?

Agents used to initiate a fire or increase the rate of fire growth. (341)


What are trailers?

Materials used to spread a fire from one area to another. (341)


About what percentage of fires are incendiary in origin?

About 1/4 nationally. (342)


What are the 6 basic arson motives?

Profit, crime concealment, excitement, spite or revenge, extremism, vandalism. (342)


What is the motive for vandalism?

To cause damage for its own sake. (342)


What allows for potential evidence to be seized during the processing of a fire scene? What was the supreme court ruling?

The plain view doctrine. Michigan v. Clifford 1984. (343)


What is demonstrative evidence?

Tangible items that can be identified by witnesses. (344)


What is documentary evidence?

Evidence in written form such as reports, records, photos, sketches and statements. (344)


What is testimonial evidence?

Witnesses speaking under oath. (344)


What is the investigators ultimate goal?

Identify the point of origin and cause of the fire. (344)


What is one of the best starting points for efforts to prevent future fires?

Understand the cause of fires that have occurred in the past. (332)


It is a good practice to request an investigator when?

Whenever the facts do not seem to make sense or there is a compelling reason to know the exact cause of the fire. (333)


Determining the point of origin requires the analysis of information from what 4 sources?

Physical marks or fire patterns left by the fire, 2) Observations reported by witnesses 3) Analysis of the physics and chemistry of fire initiation development and growth 4)Noting the location where electrical arcing caused damage. (333)


What is a luminous discharge of electricity from one object to another, typically leaving a blackening of objects in the area?

An electrical arc. (334)


What does the intensity pattern indicate?

How much heat was transferred t the surrounding area and objects. (334)


What is char?

The blackened remains of a carbon based material after it has been burned. (334)


What are the particular set of circumstances and factors that were necessary for the fire to have occurred?

The cause. (335)


What is negligence?

Failure to exercise appropriate care to avoid an accident. (336)


What should the fire officer do before conducting an interview?

Review the facts that are already known or believed to be known. (336)


When should a witnesses statement be disregarded?

Only if it can be established with certainty that the information is incorrect. (336)


What is the first objective in most vehicle fires?

To look for indications of arson. (337)


Electrical devices and appliances that start fires usually provide evidence where?

Electrical damage on the power supply cord relatively close to the device. (339)


What are the 5 general categories of conditions or factors that may indicate an intentional fire?

Disabled fire protection system 2) delayed notification or difficulty gaining access 3) accelerants or trailers 4) multiple points of origin 5) tampered or altered equipment. (341)


How many FF died and were injured as a result of intentional fires in 2005?

Three died and 7600 were injured. (342)


How many people died and how much property damage resulted from intentional fires in 2005?

A 493 died and $1.1 billion in damage. (342)


How many structure fires were deliberately set in 2005, and is it on the incline or decline?

Estimated 55,000 and on a steady decline. (342)


What Supreme Court ruling gives the FD the right to determine the cause and origin of the fire?

Michigan v. Tyler 1978. (343)


When would a search warrant or consent be required for further search?

After the cause and origin have both been determined and once the FD have left the scene. (343)


What is the first step in the chain of evidence that is vital to successful prosecution of arson cases?

The fire officer. (344)


What is the role of an expert witness?

To assist the judge and jurors to understand the evidence or to determine the true facts in an issue. (345)


The remains of materials first ignited, the ignition source, or other items or components in some way related to the fire ignition, development, or spread?

Artifacts. (344)


What are physical marks left on an object by the fire?

Fire patterns. (333)


What is the destructive distillation of organic compounds in an oxygen free environment that converts the organic matter into gases, liquids, and char?



Devices or equipment that, because of their intended modes pr use of operation, are capable of providing sufficient thermal energy to ignite flammable gas-air mixtures?

Source of ignition. (335)


What the ignited material is being used for?

Form of material. (335)


What the ignited material is made of?

Type of material. (335)


A fire investigator usually starts in which area?

In the area where the least amount of damage occurred and follows the patterns back toward the are of greatest fire damage. (333)


The origin of a fire is typically at the ___ of the fire pattern?

Base. (334)


Which NFPA is the standard for professional qualifications for fire inspectors?

NFPA 1033. (331)