1. Identify the Fire Scene:
It is important to identify the exact location of the fire scene and any hazards that may be present before starting an investigation.
2. Establish a Safety Zone:
Establishing a safety zone helps protect both firefighters and investigators from potential risks associated with a fire scene. This may include cordoning off an area, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), or using other approaches such as extinguishing remaining hot spots or removing debris.
3. Document the Area:
Documentation should include detailed photographs and diagrams of the fire scene before and after the investigation. The investigator should also take notes on all aspects of the investigation, including interviews with witnesses or bystanders, environmental conditions, pre-incident conditions, and any other pertinent information.
4. Conduct Interviews:
Interviewing witnesses or bystanders can provide key insights into the fire scene and help the investigator better understand what occurred before, during, and after the incident. Taking detailed notes of each interview will be beneficial for future reference.
5. Collect Evidence:
It is important to collect evidence from the fire scene such as burnt objects, cloth or paper fragments, or tools that may have been used to set the fire. To ensure accuracy, each piece of evidence should be properly labeled with its location onsite or its relationship to any other pieces of evidence collected from the scene.
6. Analyze Fire Pattern:
Careful analysis of the fire pattern can help the investigator define where and how the fire started. This includes examining the origin of the fire, rate of burning, size and shape of the smoke plume, and anything else that may have contributed to or caused the fire.
7. Finalize Report:
Upon completing all aspects of an investigation, a final report should be created detailing all pertinent information gathered during the investigation process such as evidence collected, interviews conducted, analysis of fire patterns and behaviors, potential causes identified, suggestions for prevention in similar scenarios, and any other related findings.