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Practical Fire and Arson Investigation


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Table of Contents

Arson: The American Experience
Fire Service
Police Service
Public Awareness
Fire Investigation Methodology
Model Arson Task Force
Role of the Fire Investigator
Six Basic Steps for Fire Investigation
References and Selected Readings
Arson Motives and Pathology
Arson for Profit
Commercial Fire Checklist
Revenge and Prejudice
Juvenile Fire Setters and Vandalism
Crime Concealment
Psychological Compulsion
Mass Civil Disturbance (Riot)
References and Selected Readings
Building Construction: Fire Problems and Precautions
Classification of Building Construction
Building Components
Structural Loads
High-Rise Construction
Structural Fire Precautions
Fire Extension and Accepted Architectural Designs
Design Problems
Construction and Material Problems
Fire Detection, Alarm, and Suppression Systems
Neutralizing Fire Protection Systems
Glossary of Building Terms
References and Selected Readings
Chemistry and Behavior of Fire
Components of Fire
Oxygen and Oxidation
Fuel and Its Physical State
Chemical Chain Reaction
Other Terms Relating to the Chemistry of Fire
Behavior of Fire
Classification of Fire
Phases of Fire
Rate of Burn
Structural Fire Spread
Direction and Rate of Spread
Burn Patterns
Rapid Movement - Slow Movement
Smoke and Flame Color
Fire Suppression
References and Selected Readings
Determining Origin and Cause
Physical Examination of the Fire Scene
Exterior Examination
Interior Examination
Room and Points of Origin
Fire Language
References and Selected Readings
Eliminating Accidental Causes
Electrical Fires
Gas and Flammable Vapors
Building Heating Equipment
Auxiliary Home Heating Equipment
Cooking-Related Fires
Children and Pets
Improper Storage of Combustibles/Flammables
Spontaneous Combustion/Ignition
Clandestine Laboratories
Construction, Renovation, and Demolition
Direct Sunlight
Product Liability and Subrogation
References and Suggested Readings
Investigating Fatal Fires
Six-Phase Investigative Approach
Fire Incident
Examination of the Body
Origin and Cause/Investigative Canvass
Determining Investigative Procedure
Cause of Death and Investigative Procedure
Follow-Up Investigation
Arrest and Trial
Special Evidence at Fire Scenes
References and Selected Readings
Investigating Vehicular Fires
Notification and Response
Vehicle Collisions and Relation to Fires
Vehicle Identification and Owner Information
Salvage Examination
Elimination of Accidental Causes
Multiple Points of Origin
Heat Indicators
Other Factors
References and Selected Readings
Incendiary Fire Evidence
Time-Delayed Ignition Devices
Accelerants and Related Burn Patterns
Legal Aspects of Evidence Collection
Evidence Collection
Identification of Evidence
Laboratory Analysis and Testing
Evidence Storage
Shipment/Transferal of Evidence
Presenting Evidence in Court
Disposal of Evidence
References and Selected Readings
Documenting the Fire/Crime Scene
Crime Scene
Documentation Sequence
References and Selected Readings
Planning the Surveillance Operation
Surveillance Methods
Applying Surveillance to Arson Investigation
References and Selected Readings
Interviewing and Interrogation
Investigative Canvass
Evaluating the Subject
Physiological Factors
Unique Interview Situations
Initial Interview Procedure: An Example
Interviewing and Interrogation Strategies
Common Interviewing Errors
Summary of Guidelines
Lying Witness
Constitutional Rights of Individuals
References and Selected Readings
Court Qualification and Testimony
Pretrial Testimony
Trial Preparation
Witness Stand Behavioral Guidelines
Cross Examination
Defense Expert
Standard for Professional Qualifications of Fire Investigator
References and Selected Readings
Legal Aspects
Problems of Proof in Arson Prosecution
Other Legal Considerations
Exigent Circumstances
Criminal Search Warrant
Federal Rules of Evidence
Prosecution for Insurance Fraud
References and Selected Readings

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