What is an Origin and
Cause Investigation?

April 30, 2014

Origin and cause investigation, also known as fire investigation is the analysis of any incident that is fire related. On the whole, after a fire has been extinguished, there is an investigation to determine the origin and cause of the said fire. As well, origin and cause investigations include explosions.

This type of investigation is comprised of a systematic scientific approach and the understanding of basic fire science. With a distinctive law enforcement investigation that includes a fire or explosion, a fire scene investigator and laboratory analyst will be at the scene.

An origin and cause investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed. The fire investigator must have knowledge of fire dynamics and fire chemistry in order to make an accurate analysis. Fire scene investigators can be certified through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) or the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).

A fire investigators systematic scientific approach should include:

  • Accepts the investigation and all responsibilities
  • Plans the entire investigation
  • Brings together needed tools, equipment and personnel
  • Thoroughly inspects the scene and collects data
  • Gathers, exams, assesses and documents all evidence
  • Applies scientific methods in order to analyze information that is gathered

In the United States, a fire investigator oftentimes refers to the NFPA 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (National Fire Protection Association). The NFPA 921 standards set the bar for scientific-based analysis and investigation of fire and explosion instances.

When are Origin and Cause Investigations Needed?

Origin and cause investigations are needed to determine if the scene was caused by arson or other factors. A thorough investigations report is oftentimes used in general insurance investigations. Certain investigations may be helpful for a variety of reasons:

  • Large loss investigation
  • Arson fraud Investigation
  • Insurance and arson claims
  • Computer in fire investigation
  • Property insurance loss register

Complete Investigation Services

A complete origin and cause investigation service should have important key features that they provide for a client. A professional company is meticulous and continually up to date on current legislative and industry changes. A business that has an experienced and educated management staff can provide high quality and timely reports for their clients. This ensures that the client can validate a claim and the conditions surrounding the origin and cause.

Seca Investigations:
Phone 61 3 9544 6865 / 61 3 9544 8279
Fax 61 3 9558 8980

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