Arson / Fire Investigation
During the investigation into the cause of a fire in a building such as a house or retail premises for example, it might be decided by the various agencies who carried out the investigation that the cause of the fire was a deliberate act as opposed to any other cause such as accidental, electrical etc.
If it is decided that it was deliberate act then the matter becomes a criminal investigation (Arson) and the Police will be involved together with other experts such as Forensic scientists, Scene of Crimes Examiners and the Fire service
A Fire Investigation report(s) might be prepared dealing with the findings in respect of the above.
During the investigation numerous photographs and items / samples might be taken from the scene, and if an individual is suspected of being involved in starting the fire, clothing and footwear might be taken for Forensic examination.
Typical Forensic evidence includes:
- Report(s) dealing with origin and cause of fire
- Specific Laboratory examinations dealing with detection of accelerants at seat(s) of fire and / or clothing of suspect.
- Scientific comparison of accelerant traces
- Evidence of transient heat / flame passage on clothing & footwear
- Fingerprints / footwear marks at scene
- Particulate material transfer such as glass particles from a broken window.
- Tool marks on windows / doors
- Timing of the start of the fire
- Prediction of the potential development of the fire if not extinguished by Fire Service.
Our experts can deal with all of the above aspects of Forensic evidence , and if any of these are to be relied upon by the Prosecution in support of allegations against a defendant(s), we can conduct a thorough, robust and critical evaluation of every aspect of the forensic evidence including undertaking our own examination of the items and scientific case records, checking the continuity of items / evidence, in-house laboratory procedures and techniques, and of course the reliability, validity and conclusions of the forensic evidence that is to used in Court by the Prosecution.
This almost invariably requires our experts to attend at the Forensic Laboratory utilised by the Police to conduct our own examination of exhibits and thoroughly evaluate the scientific case records / analytical results.
Our report can deal with one specific issue or, if several aspects of the Forensic evidence are to be independently assessed, we can deal with the issues in a single report or alternatively two or more reports.