1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool Where do I start to be a Fire Investigator??

    hello, I was just wondering how I would go about being an arson investigator..I'm still in highschool and will be going off to college in another year and was wondering....what types of classes are required? How much time does it take to get all these certifications?? Is it hard to get a job somewhere? These are just a few of my questions about this because I would really like to get into the whole arson investigations but I've heard from a few people its really hard then I've heard if you pay attention its easy...I'm a Explorer for the Fire dept and I'm VERY interested in this topic so I dunno..just wondering about these things.......thanks..

    South Amboy, New Jersey
    Explorer Engine 6 So. Amboy Fire Dept & Cadet Morgan FAS

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    To become a fire investigator you must obtain basic training in fire investigation from a recognized school. I suggest your state fire college, or local community college. next you must obtain expierence. i suggest ride alongs with your fire department or law enforcement. obtaining national certification through one of the 2 national certification agencies (IAAI or NAFI) is prefered but not a requirement. National certification gives you credibility and prestige within the investigation community. respond back to me in this forurm with any questions you may have and i invite anyone else with advice to also do so.

    good luck
    RJ, Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator

    [This message has been edited by rescue30 (edited 04-27-2001).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just thought I would reply to this because I get the same question a lot from some of our students. You need to check with your state to find out the requirements for Arson Investigator, and or Fire Investigator.In our state, Texas, you must be a peace officer in order to be qualified to become an Arson Investigator. The whole reasoning behind it is the arrest. Remember Arson is criminal investigation, Fire Origin and Cause (Cause and Origin for the old people in this business)can be criminal, but most often is civil and does not require the peace officer qualification. Your state will have a list of the local places offering the courses you need to obtain these certifications. Just like the posting above , he is right you can do some ride alongs, check it out get to know what you are in for before you make that decision. I do many investigations for insurance and civil trials when there is a high dollar loss, death or injury. I went through the state certification which was only a 122 hour course, but I went through a lot of other courses too. Groups such as IAAI, NAFI, NFPA,ATF all have certifications you can obtain as well. The National Fire Academy offers programs as well. You can even go on-line and get many of your courses to get into college degrees such as Fire Sciences, Fire Protection Engineering,Law Enforcement, Criminology, Chemistry the list is endless. Check out the web and look for them. Good luck to you, and feel free to e-mail me if you need any help.--mcrad

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