What do Fire Investigators do?

Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

  • Examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
  • Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
  • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
  • Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
  • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.

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