Fire science analysis involves conducting fire investigations, which require a good understanding of fire behavior (Chandler, 127-187). Fire science requires a detailed investigations conducted by people trained in college topics such as physics and chemistry. Heat and molecular movements are among the basic scientific concepts involved in the science of fire in the course of investigation. Application of fire science is in the evaluation process of the fire scene using reproducible and established scientific philosophies. The scientific process in the fire science allows the investigators to determine the cause of fire and the area of origin using systematic framework.
The characteristics of fire science analysis involve investigations of the origin and the cause of fire. The investigators in the analysis must have accurate determinations of the cause of fire based on provable good science. In the fire science analysis, the investigators seek to arrive at the best results in different situations and they make use of a scientific method as a process of accurate determination (Chandler, 127-187). The use of scientific Methodology gives the process that an investigator needs to follow in examining the fire scene. Various steps used in the scientific method as laid down by the “Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations”.
In the fire science analysis, presumption of the fire cause is termed as a dangerous act. The investigators should not presume the cause of the fire based on limited knowledge or relying on individual presumptions. The information heard at the arrival of the scene and false impressions should not make presumptions on the cause of the fire. This is because in the scientific analysis one of the requirements is for individuals to have an open mind as they conduct the investigations. If there are presumed causes of fire, individuals will look for the evidence that supports the deduction of the cause of fire.
According to Dolan, (1168-1171), the fire investigators in the fire science analysis must have the knowledge of the chemistry of fire to help them in the process and even in coming up with conclusions. The knowledge on how to extinguish the fire has its bases on chemistry of fire. As stated by Jose Torero, (843-852), the individuals learn about the fire triangle, which consist of the oxygen, fuel, and heat. To distinguish the fire, individuals must remove one side of the triangle. To determine the cause of the fire, the investigators seek to know the circumstances that brought the three sides of the triangle together.
Analysis of how the investigation organizations handle these types of investigations
They conduct a brief scene examination and may interview the witnesses at the scene. The investigator surveys the scene and gathers the data. The step allows the investigators to record the incident and may be required to take photographs and record the interviews. The collection of data involves anything that can be useful in making decision on the cause of the fire. This acts as collection of evidence from the fire scene. The data collection is founded on skill, trial, or observations. The fire officers while carrying out preliminary inquiries have no authority in evidence collection. The only investigator allowed to collect evidence is the assigned fire investigator (Dolan, 1168-1171). If the fire has been determined to be accidental, the assigned fire investigator is not allowed to take the evidence because there is no crime committed. The first people in the fire scene must protect the area from interference. This will help to preserve the evidence even if the cause of the fire is identified to be incendiary or accidental. Finally, to handle the investigations, the organization uses the collected data and applies the scientific method. The investigators after which can make conclusions on the origin and the cause of the fire after analysis of the information obtained.
How the characteristics are applied or not applied in the management of the fire department
In case of fire incidents, the investigators visit the scene of the fire and conduct the investigations using the scientific methodology. They follow all the steps stated in the scientific methodology processes before they make the conclusions (Chandler, 127-187). The application of the scientific method involves recognizing the need, definition of the problem, collection of the data, analyzing the data and selection of the final hypothesis. The management of fire department always keeps an open mind as they conduct investigations. They do not rely on the presumptions based on limited knowledge or based on false impressions (Dolan, 1168-1171). This prevents them from looking for evidence that seeks to support the presumed evidence. The fire investigators are not influenced by the interviews conducted at the scene of fire. The use of systematic search by the management of fire department help in searching from the least damaged area to the most damaged area. This helps the investigators to know the origin of fire by following the right path. The systematic search method works well in most of the scenes and the officers get to establish the origin and the cause of the fire.
The fire science analysis involves the fire investigators who need not to be scientists. The investigators need to have a scientific knowledge to enable them conduct the investigations without putting their lives and that of the public in danger. To determine the origin and the cause of the fire, the investigators use scientific methodology and systematic approach to examine the fire scene. The process enables the investigators to search the entire scene before they develop the final hypothesis concerning the cause and the origin of fire. In giving the conclusion, the investigators must provide facts and accepted principles based on good science.
Chandler, Russel, K. Fire Investigation. New York: Cengage Learning. 2008, Print. : 127-187.
Dolan, J. “Recent advances in the applications of forensic science to fire debris analysis.” Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry 376.8 (2003): 1168-1171. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10 Sept. 2011.
Jose Torero, et al. “The Behavior of Liquid Fuel on Carpet (Porous Media): A Case for the Inclusion of Science in Fire Investigation.” Fire Technology 46.4 (2010): 843-852. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10 Sept. 2011.