Fire Prevention & Investigation Web Exclusives

  • Budget Wise Fire & Life Safety Education Tips

    We know that fire and smoke damage more than just people’s possessions. They destroy memories, wreak financial havoc, and cause emotional and physiological stress — and the water we use to extinguish the flames only adds to the destruction. So...

    Article • June 30th, 2011

  • Decontaminating Investigation Equipment: Clearing Traces of Ignitable Liquids

    During a recent court case, the following question was asked by the defendant’s attorney. “What method of decontaminating your fire investigations equipment was used to prevent cross contamination of the scene?” As you can imagine, this doesn’t...

    Article • June 27th, 2011

  • Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation - Part 2

    In Part 2 of “Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation,” we will continue to discuss the main points for the local fire investigator to focus on when conducting a wildfire investigation. Hopefully, last month’s article was an eyeopener for some local...

    Article • May 31st, 2011

  • PIO 101: Tips for Media Interviews

    “Ralph, I don’t know where you’re getting your s-s-s-s-statistics,” stammered Dick Harper, Jim Carey’s character in the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane.” Harper was thrilled to become the spokesperson for the huge conglomerate “Globodyne...

    Article • May 19th, 2011

  • Pieces of the Puzzle: Preservation at Fire Scenes

    Recently I was asked by my deputy chief if I could tell newly promoted officers one thing, what would it be? I quickly replied, “Protect and secure our scene.” Why? Because from day two as a fire investigator, I have taught, lectured and enlightened...

    Article • April 21st, 2011

  • Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation - Part 1

    As the spring fire season approaches, fire investigators across the country will be responding to wildfires to conduct origin and cause investigations. In many jurisdictions, investigators are assigned to a type of investigation that is unfamiliar. During...

    Article • April 11th, 2011

  • After 100 Years: The Lesson to be Learned from Triangle Shirtwaist

    Anniversaries serve several purposes; to remember, to honor, to get a day off, maybe even an excuse to throw a party and fire up the grill, but most of all, it is supposed to give us the opportunity to remember the sacrifices of those who created the...

    Article • March 18th, 2011

  • Developing a Fire Prevention Program for Your Community

    When a local Boy Scout leader calls and says he’s working on fire safety, or when the Senior Center calls and wants a fire prevention presentation, are you ready to respond? Do you have specific presentations set up for different audiences? Do you know...

    Article • February 15th, 2011

  • The Fire Officer’s Responsibilities at Incendiary Fires

    In this month’s column, we will discuss the fire officer’s responsibility in assisting the fire investigation units at the scene.

    Article • January 10th, 2011

  • A Call to Reform the Fire Service in 2011

    Tradition: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting. A continuing pattern of culture beliefs...

    Article • January 7th, 2011

  • The Six Motives for Firesetting

    At any point during your career as a fire investigator you will be assigned to investigate an incendiary fire. When the investigator arrives on the scene, information about the incident will be coming from a variety of sources, including police...

    Article • December 13th, 2010

  • Fire Prevention: It Takes a Community

    As the fire services continues to take the brunt of the economic downturn, there is no doubt that prevention is now not only a backseat of many fire departments, but hitchhiking along the side of the road.If fire departments are doing any prevention at...

    Article • November 24th, 2010

  • Lessons from the Past: MGM Grand Fire

    November 21, 2010, marks the 30th anniversary of the MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas. Most of our senior peers from that era certainly remember the MGM tragedy. But even our young rookies back then have now reached the retirement age and have limited...

    Article • November 18th, 2010

  • PIO 101: The Anatomy of an Effective News Release

    After being interviewed by reporters, I’ve heard many people complain that the news media “just can’t get it right.” Whether it’s a live TV interview or some other encounter with a reporter, most of us have been victims of erroneous reporting...

    Article • November 15th, 2010

  • PIO 101: The Basics of Media Relations for the Fire Service

    It has been said that experience is the best teacher. It can also be the harshest. As a public information officer (PIO) for the Chattanooga Fire Department, I’ve worked hard to get the best training I can get to do my job. Yet, many of the things...

    Article • August 6th, 2010