Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Fire Investigation

The manner in which a motor vehicle fire is initiated and subsequently spreads is dependent on a number of complex, interdependent, phenomena including combustion kinetics, heat transfer and fluid dynamics. Because the damage caused by a fire is coupled to these phenomena, damage patterns can sometimes be used to understand certain characteristics about the fire. In many cases, the goal is to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

In this highly interactive, hands-on course, participants will acquire a working knowledge of fire science and be able to use this knowledge to assess possible ignition mechanisms, evaluate burn patterns, and analyze fire spread. This course will also explore the interpretation and limitations of the physical evidence from a fire scene. The approach to collecting and retaining important physical evidence, and laboratory techniques to examine this evidence are also covered. As an in-class project, participants will have the opportunity to inspect several burned vehicles, predict cause and origin and compare findings to the actual cause and origin of the fire, as shown in burn test videos.

What Will You Learn

By attending this course, you will be able to:
  • Apply fundamental combustion concepts to evaluate possible ignition mechanisms, burn patterns, and fire spread
  • Recognize the value and limitations of burn patterns to determine the area of origin of a fire
  • Describe the typical burning characteristics of motor vehicle fires
  • Identify and retain important physical evidence during a structure or vehicle fire inspection
  • Utilize laboratory techniques to evaluate physical evidence recovered from a fire scene

Is This Course For You

This course is designed for engineers, scientists, investigators and consultants involved in the investigation of vehicle fires.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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