1. #1
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    Default Origin and Cause Basics

    I am young (23yoa) and am getting interested in origin and cause investigation. I am going through alot of the programs on cfitrainer.net and try to find all the information I can. Does anyone know where I can find information on burn patterns, fire dynamics, etc on origin and cause investigation? I am looking to start with the basic so any information would help. Thanks
    Dave

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    From another young guy I would recommend a few things. First if you haven't done so already get your hands on a copy of NFPA 921 and Kirks Fire Investigation. Take a read though them. Sit down with a dictionary too in case there are some words you don't understand. Also if you have a local college that offers courses in fire/arson investigation take them. Same thing with the local fire school. Talk with your local FM to see if you can come out and dig out with them; you would be surprised what you can learn from working with someone.

    Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy171 View Post
    I am young (23yoa) and am getting interested in origin and cause investigation. I am going through alot of the programs on cfitrainer.net and try to find all the information I can. Does anyone know where I can find information on burn patterns, fire dynamics, etc on origin and cause investigation? I am looking to start with the basic so any information would help. Thanks
    Dave
    What is your end goal?
    Do you want to work as a public or private investigator?
    Are you a serial arsonist in training...Just kidding!!
    Do you have a degree?
    If you want to be a fire investigator you will need to get certified.
    It is generally accepted that there are four different organizations that offer a certification program recognized by the courts.
    1. State certification offered most commonly through Public Safety academies
    2. National Association of Fire Investigators.
    3. International Association of Arson Investigators. 4-5 year internship
    4. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, you must be federal agent with ATF and complete a 2 year apprentice program that includes investigating 100 fires. Complete additional college courses. You have to complete a research project and publish a paper on the research project.
    Again what is you end goal?

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Default goals

    First off, thanks for the replies. Basically our FD Investigator will be retiring in the next 4-5 years and I would love to take over or at least be well on my way by that time. Then, from there could look around at Insurance Co. or something like that. I know the Illinois State Fire Marshal does a CFI Certification and the IFSI (Illinois Fire Service Institute) has Origin and Cause awareness and also a 3 module program. Those would be some places to start looking as well. I didn't know if there was another good website like cfitrainer.net that went more over basics. Thanks again.
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy171 View Post
    First off, thanks for the replies. Basically our FD Investigator will be retiring in the next 4-5 years and I would love to take over or at least be well on my way by that time. Then, from there could look around at Insurance Co. or something like that. I know the Illinois State Fire Marshal does a CFI Certification and the IFSI (Illinois Fire Service Institute) has Origin and Cause awareness and also a 3 module program. Those would be some places to start looking as well. I didn't know if there was another good website like cfitrainer.net that went more over basics. Thanks again.
    Dave
    What you are going to need is experience. You will need experience to get any certification as an investigator. Experience and education are some of the key factors you will need to give testimony in court. You need to start mentoring under your departmentís investigator now. IAAI certification requires 4-5 years experience along with a list of other requirements just to be eligible to test for their certification. All certification programs have similar requirements. You need to start working fire scenes and document everything you do. When you submit a application for certification you will have to prove you are eligable to test.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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