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Essentials of Fire Fighting,

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Essentials of Fire Fighting, 5th Edition Chapter 18 Protecting Fire Scene Evidence Firefighter I Chapter 18 Lesson Goal After completing this lesson, the student ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Essentials of Fire Fighting,


1
  • Essentials of Fire Fighting,
  • 5th Edition

Chapter 18 Protecting Fire Scene
Evidence Firefighter I
2
Chapter 18 Lesson Goal
  • After completing this lesson, the student shall
    be able to identify indicators of an incendiary
    fire and protect and preserve evidence after a
    fire following the policies and procedures set
    forth by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

3
Specific Objectives
  • 1. Describe signs and indications of an
    incendiary fire.
  • 2. Summarize important observations to be made
    en route, after arriving at the scene, and during
    fire fighting operations.
  • 3. Discuss firefighter conduct and statements at
    the scene.

(Continued)
4
Specific Objectives
  • 4. Explain firefighter responsibilities after
    the fire.
  • 5. Discuss protecting and preserving evidence.

5
Determining Cause
  • In most jurisdictions the fire chief has the
    legal responsibility for determining the cause
    and origin of a fire.
  • Delegates this authority to the fire officers and
    firefighters at the scene

(Continued)
6
Determining Cause
  • Proper training enables firefighters to recognize
    and collect important information
  • First-arriving firefighters are in a position to
    observe unusual conditions that may indicate an
    incendiary fire

7
First-arriving Firefighters Should Note
  • Vehicles and people present in the area
  • Status of doors and windows
  • Evidence of forced entry by anyone other than
    firefighters
  • Contents of the rooms
  • Indications of unusual fire behavior or more than
    one point of origin

8
Observations En Route
  • Time of day
  • Weather and natural hazards
  • Barriers
  • People leaving the scene

9
Observations Upon Arrival
  • Time of arrival and extent of fire
  • Wind direction and velocity
  • Doors or windows locked or unlocked
  • Location of the fire

(Continued)
10
Observations Upon Arrival
  • Containers or cans
  • Burglary tools
  • Familiar faces

11
Observations During Fire Fighting Operations
  • Unusual odors
  • Abnormal behavior of fire when water is applied
  • Obstacles hindering fire fighting

(Continued)
12
Observations During Fire Fighting Operations
  • Incendiary devices
  • Trailers
  • Structural alterations
  • Fire patterns

(Continued)
13
Observations During Fire Fighting Operations
  • Heat intensity
  • Availability of documents
  • Fire detection and protection systems
  • Intrusion alarms
  • Location of fire

(Continued)
14
Observations During Fire Fighting Operations
  • Personal possessions
  • Household items
  • Equipment or inventory
  • Business records

15
Conduct and Statements at the Scene
  • Firefighters should obtain as much information as
    possible
  • Owners or occupants of the property should be
    allowed to talk freely

(Continued)
16
Conduct and Statements at the Scene
  • Firefighters should not attempt to interrogate a
    potential arson suspect unless trained and
    authorized
  • Firefighters should refrain from expressing
    personal opinions

(Continued)
17
Conduct and Statements at the Scene
  • After the investigator arrives, firefighters
    should make statements only to this individual

(Continued)
18
Conduct and Statements at the Scene
  • Public statement regarding fire cause should be
    made only after
  • The investigator and ranking fire officer have
    agreed to its accuracy and validity
  • Have given permission for it to be released

19
Responsibilities After the Fire
  • Firefighters should report their observations to
    their supervisor
  • Firefighters should not discuss their
    observations with other crew members
  • Improperly done overhaul operations can be
    detrimental to the investigation

20
Securing the Fire Scene
  • Fire department has the authority to deny access
    to any building
  • During fire fighting operations
  • For a reasonable length of time after fire
    suppression is terminated

(Continued)
21
Securing the Fire Scene
  • If an investigator is not immediately available,
    the fire department or other lawful authority
    should keep control of the premises until all
    evidence has been collected

(Continued)
22
Securing the Fire Scene
  • Once all fire personnel leave the scene, a search
    warrant or written consent to search will be
    required to reenter the premises

(Continued)
23
Securing the Fire Scene
  • Fire personnel should not allow anyone to enter a
    fire scene without the investigators permission
  • The premises can be secured and protected in
    several ways

(Continued)
24
Securing the Fire Scene
  • Cordoning can be accomplished with rope or
    specially designed fire and police line tape

25
Protecting and Preserving Evidence
  • Protect evidence by keeping it untouched and
    undisturbed until an investigator arrives
  • Do not gather or handle evidence unless it is
    absolutely necessary in order to preserve it

(Continued)
26
Protecting and Preserving Evidence
  • If firefighters handle or procure evidence, they
    then become a link in the chain of custody for
    that evidence
  • Evidence must remain undisturbed except when
    absolutely necessary for the extinguishment of
    the fire

(Continued)
27
Protecting and Preserving Evidence
  • Firefighters must avoid trampling over possible
    evidence and obliterating it
  • The same precaution applied to the excessive use
    of water may help avoid similar unsatisfactory
    results

(Continued)
28
Protecting and Preserving Evidence
  • Human footprints and tire marks must be
    protected use cardboard boxes

(Continued)
29
Protecting and Preserving Evidence
  • Protect completely or partially burned papers
    found in a furnace, stove, or fireplace by
    immediately closing dampers and other openings
  • Leave charred documents found in containers

(Continued)
30
After Evidence Has Been Collected
  • After evidence has been properly collected by an
    investigator, debris may be removed
  • Remove charred materials to prevent the
    possibility of rekindle and to help reduce smoke
    damage

(Continued)
31
After Evidence Has Been Collected
  • Unburned materials can be separated from the
    debris and cleaned

32
Summary
  • Before an investigation into the origin and cause
    of a fire can be conducted, there must be
    evidence to evaluate.

(Continued)
33
Summary
  • As a firefighter, one of the most important
    responsibilities is to avoid disturbing or
    destroying evidence while fighting the fire. In
    the area of origin appropriate caution must be
    used when spraying water, moving debris, and even
    walking around.

(Continued)
34
Summary
  • Once the area of origin is known, a more thorough
    investigation can be conducted to determine the
    exact cause of the fire.

(Continued)
35
Summary
  • As a firefighter, it may be necessary to
    determine the cause of the fire more likely,
    firefighters may be assigned to assist their
    supervisor or a fire investigator in making that
    determination.

(Continued)
36
Summary
  • If the fire origin and cause investigation
    reveals evidence of arson, the property becomes a
    crime scene and must be treated as one.
    Firefighters must cooperate fully with whoever is
    assigned to investigate the crime.

37
Review Questions
  • 1. What observations should be made en route?
  • 2. What observations should be made upon
    arrival?
  • 3. What observations should be made during
    firefighting operations?

(Continued)
38
Review Questions
  • 4. What actions should firefighters take after a
    fire?
  • 5. Why is protecting evidence important?
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