A fire investigation is a normal occurrence after an incendiary event at a home, business or municipal facility. Fires are frightening and incredibly damaging to real property, automobiles, watercraft and other types of personal property. An in-depth investigation of significant damage makes sure that insurance claims for accidental fires are legitimate and not the direct result of criminal negligence, vandalism or arson.
This resource article profiles all varieties of fire cases, as well as looking at the types of specialized investigators that perform these valuable services.
What is a Fire Investigation?
Investigating fires is often a joint effort of private and municipal investigators. The fire department and police department will certainly look into any fire which is deemed suspicious or seems to be the result of criminal activity. Likewise, insurance investigators will begin an inquiry into fires which may not be accidental.
Finally, private investigators might be brought in by the victim of a fire to determine if the blaze was set intentionally or was possibly the result of poor wiring or workmanship in the home or business.
Investigating Suspicious Fires
Fire investigators typically are active or retired fire department members, officers or fire marshals. This training and experience gives them the ability to see evidence which is only decipherable by a knowledgeable eye.
Fire investigators will try to determine how, where and when the blaze started and whether there are any signs of criminal intent. Typically, purposeful fires involve the use of explosives and/or accelerants, although more subtle approaches like wire tampering or heating system tampering are also common.
Private and insurance investigators will work closely with municipal police and fire department personnel and will use the official reports issued on a suspicious blaze to bolster any evidence they might uncover during their own dedicated investigations.
Fire Investigation Specialists
Most incendiary investigations do not involve private detectives, but often involve insurance investigators and SIU agents. Private investigators are usually brought in if the victim of a fire is not satisfied with the quality or findings of an official investigation or if a person accused of setting a fire wants an opportunity to clear their name.
Fire cases are some of the most skill-specific assignments and require formalized education and real world experience to complete effectively. The evidence gathered in a fire case must be located carefully and often proven forensically, since the damage to property can be so extensive.
To learn more about using a professional investigator to help locate information after a fire, consult with an incendiary forensics expert or private detective today.