A Guide to Accelerant Detection Tools for Fire & Arson Investigation

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Accelerant Detection Tools for Fire & Arson Investigation

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Fire investigation, sometimes referred to as origin and cause investigation, is the analysis of fire-related incidents.

After firefighters extinguish a fire, an investigation is launched to determine the origin and cause of the fire or explosion. Investigations of such incidents require a systematic approach and knowledge of basic fire science.

A proven scientific tool used in forensic fire investigations is the photoionisation detector (PID):-

  • PIDs are quick, simple to use and accurate for the detection of fire accelerants

  • PIDs are very sensitive to commonly found accelerants and will detect hundreds of gasses and vapours in low concentration

  • PIDs are non-destructive and will not affect the air sample which can be captured at the same time as the measurement for further lab analysis

  • PIDs reduce the quantity and cost of lab samples required to reach a conclusion as to the cause of the fire

  • PIDs are portable and battery powered making them ideal fire and arson investigation instruments