1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Becoming an arson investigator

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I am currently in the military (intelligence, not fire) but I have a degree in Criminal Justice. I am interested in becoming an arson invetigator but really don't know how to go about it. I would appreciate any tips, advice, or anything else I might need to know. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

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    May 2008
    Stamford, CT


    Check with your State fire academy for advice. I know that here in CT Fire Investigation certification fall under the jurisdiction of our State Police.


  3. #3
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Sep 2002


    au1982- Where do you live?

  4. #4

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    May 2009

    Default re:live

    I live in San Antonio, Tx.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Aug 2005


    Best thing I can suggest is try to get connected with your local investigator when you rotate back to civilian life. A few places I can recommend for training are the National Fire Academy, IAAI, NAFI, CFItrainer.net, local colleges/fire school, and even NFPA runs a class now. All are valuable places for gaining information. Also pick up a copy of NFPA 921 and Kirk's Fire Investigation book, read them.

    Many people in this business got into in many ways. Some though law enforcement, some building construction, others the fire service. There are public and private guys and they area all great sources of information.

    Personally I have some law enforcement education, fire science education, fire fighting experience, code enfrocement/inspection experience. I contacted the local investigators around me and where I worked and learned alot from them.

    Good lluck. PM me if you have any other questions.

  6. #6
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    Dickey's Avatar
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    Feb 2000


    Quote Originally Posted by AU1982 View Post
    I am interested in becoming an arson invetigator
    First I would say learn to spell it.

    Just busting your balls. Like Lt. Dan said...when you get out of the military you should first decide if you want to be public or private. Private, such as insurance companies will have full time certified fire investigators (CFI). Some large metro areas have an arson task force made up of both fire and PD. Some law enforcement agencies have an arson squad.

    Decide where you want to work and then find out how they do it in that area. Then figure out what it takes to do that full time for them. Also check with people in all the organizations he mentioned too.....IAAI and NAFI will be your biggest helpers. You can check with your local state chapter of IAAI for help as well.

    Good luck in your adventures.
    Jason Knecht
    Township Fire Dept., Inc.
    Eau Claire, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine

  7. #7
    cubbie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    With your military background and degree in criminal justice. I would recommend that you apply with ATF. They are tasked with the responsibility of conducting fire investigations at the Federal level. You would have to start out as a basic agent first. Then apply for their CFI program. Once you are accepted into their program you will start a two year internship working under the supervision of an ATF CFI. The pay and benefits are great. ATF CFI's are GS-12 and GS-13 pay grades. The training is some of the best there is available any where in the world. Some CFI also get certified as explosives specialist (CES). This ceritification allows ATF agents to conduct post blast investigations.
    Wish you the Best

    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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