IFSTA Ch 29 Fire Investigations Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in IFSTA Ch 29 Fire Investigations Deck (47):

One of the most important aspects of fire investigation is awareness by company officers and unit members of the importance of _______ ______.

preserving evidence


Company officers must not allow the ______ process to begin before the cause of the fire has been determined and any ______ protected.

overhaul; evidence


Name the first step in the fire investigation process:

locate the point of origin


Who may be the most important sources of information about the point of origin of the fire:

those who reported the fire and those who fought it


Whether the fire is inside a structure or out in the wildland, what is an indicator of the point of origin

burn pattern left


Burn patterns tend to be ______ from the point of origin and are often what shaped:

vertical; V-shaped


Because the fire burns _____ at the point of origin, it is usually the area of ____ _____ ____.

longer; greatest fire damage


Vehicle fires fall into one of two broad catagories:

1. Those that occur while the vehicle is driven
2. Those that occur while the vehicle is parked


What are the most often causes of vehicle fires while being driven:

1. Mechanical malfunctions
2. Electrical malfunctions
3. Carelessness with smoking materials


What are the common locations for vehicle fires due to mechanical malfunctions:

1. Engine compartment
2. Exhaust system
3. Wheel and brake systems


For a parked vehicle fire, why would a malfunction of mechanical or electrical means not ignite while it was moving?

The ignition temperature was cooled due to the wind keeping temperature lower, until parked.


In general wildland fires spreads away from the point of origin in three predictable ways:

1. spreads faster uphill
2. spreads faster with the wind against it
3. spreads faster in fine fuels (grass) than in heavier fuels (timber)


The depth of char for wildland fires indicates the direction ____ ____ the fire spread

from which


How are fires generally classified as (per NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations):



What are fires that did not result from intentional or malicious human activity?

Accidental Fires


Fires that involve human activity and are deliberately set (malicious or not) are classified as:

Incendiary fires


T/F - the term suspicious should be used as a fire cause classification

F - if the cause cannot be determined with a reasonable certainty, it should be listed as undetermined


What is an accidental fire that is termed as a 'friendly fire'?

Intentionally set fires for a legitimate purpose, such as burning leaves and the fire gets out of control and spreads.


Why do fatalities occur with smoking-related accidental fires?

The occupant, often is incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs and either falls asleep or passes out.


What is a pyrophoric ignition?

The ignition temperature is gradually lowered until autoignition occurs. Such as wood framing in walls adjacent to metal fireplace boxes and flues.


T/F - the mere presence of electrical wiring or appliances near the point of origin means that the fire was electrical in nature.

F - it should be considered along with other possible sources of ignition, due to the heat generated by electrical wiring and equipment


What is the most common cause of electrical fires

Misuse of the electrical system by the bldg occupants (use of lightweight extension cords or zip cords and the use of a multiple-outlet device known as an octopus)


What is the 'most' important thing to check during fire investigation with electrical fires?

The position of the power switch on any appliance found at the point of origin


Main fuses or circuit breakers that are melted are from what type of fire?

Natural fires - lightning related fires


Company level personnel and fire investigators should consider any exposed electrical wireing/equipment as ________ unless the power has been shut off by utilities



In determining the cause of fire identification of the circumstances and factors must be evaluated. These include but are not limited to:

1. Reliable ignition source
2. Material first ignited
3. The actions that brought them together


Fire cause is the sequence of events that:

allowed the fuel and source of ignition to come together


What is the most obvious difference with incendiary types of fires:

They are started intentionally with our without malicious intent


List some differences between accidental or natural origin with incendiary types of fires (from the incendiary view):

-Use of accelerants;
-Disabled fire detection systems;
-Disabled fire suppression systems;
-Means of delayed ignition;
-Means of delaying the emergency response


Examples of indicators that a fire was incendiary of origin include:

1. Timing Devices;
2. Multiple points of origin;
3. Trailers;
4. Chemicals;
5. Matches;
6. Ignitable liquids;
7. Bottles;
8. Signs of forced entry;
9. Whole bunch more....


Inverted V-patterns suggests:

The use of ignitable liquids


Fire investigation kits include:

Latex gloves, containers for storing evidence, tape, labels, and markers


The crime of arson must include 4 core elements:

Lighting of fire, Willful intent, Malice, Property (object, item, structure must be burned)


What is the program that provides the law enforcement community with a data-reporting and trend analysis process?

UCR - uniform crime reporting (similar to NFIRS)


In 2004, an estimated _______ intentionally set structure fires were set, resulting in _____ civilian deaths.

36,500; 320 deaths


During the UCR reporting period the average dollar loss associated with arson offenses was ________. Structural property arsons was averaged at _______. Mobile property was ______. Other property type was ______. Total property loss was _______.

$11,253; $20,818; $6,073; $2,536; $714 million


The objective of the post-scene investigation is to develop additional information regarding the _____ and _____ of a fire.



What are the 6 general categories for motives for adult fire setters:

Revenge, Vandalism, Profit (fraud), Crime concealment, Excitement (vanity), or Extremism (terrorism)


What is the largest motive category of arson fires



Vandalism is usually the result of ________ or _______ and is commited by those who are undereducated or people with below-average intelligence.

boredom; frustration


Monetary gain is the primary motivator for this motive

Profit or fraud


Those who set fires and seek recognition or wish to be viewed as heroes are motivated by

Excitement (vanity)


The term 'means' is generally used to describe the ______ used by firesetters to bring the _____ and the _____ _____ together to start the fire.

methods; fuel; ignition source


Pyromania is considered as a ______ or ______ disorder that results in the setting of fires for no apparent reason.

mental; behavioral


Pyromania is an impulse-control disorder. Juveniles have been categorized in three phases and ages:

-Under 7 set fires out of curiosity;
-Ages 8-12; psychosocial conflicts (revenge, anger, attention);
-Ages 13-18; crisis phase involves detention and arrest


One of the most common types of Natural fire is caused by?

Lightning strikes


In wildland fires the point of origin is almost always nearer the ______ of the fire than the ______.

Heel / head
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