Arson and Fire Investigation
It all starts with law enforcement for the most part. They earn associates or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any other related degree. Many arson and fire investigators started off in law enforcement and with investigation experience began to specialize In fire and arson Investigation by taking courses In these areas.
Earning a criminal Justice or related degree Is often a requirement and will help you gain some of the necessary skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful. Other investigators attend academies or schools that offer programs in fire science and investigation.The TAFT for example, has a special raining academy for their fire investigators and Arson investigators (How to Become an Arson Investigator). Earn an associates or bachelor’s degree in criminal Justice, fire science, engineering, science or chemistry. Criminal Justice and engineering will provide you with the most relevant education for a career In fire Investigation.
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Most police and fire departments require some college education (associates degree) and more are starting to require a bachelor’s degree. The TAFT requires a four-year degree (bachelor’s).
Law enforcement agencies will open the door for a career in arson and fire investigation. Many fire and arson investigators recommend volunteering in your local fire department while earning your education, attend fire and arson investigation related conferences, pursue professional educational courses or certificates In fire or arson Investigation and then Joining as many professional organizations as possible. Some examples of professional organizations would be, the IA (International Association of Arson Investigators) and the (NAIF) National Association of Fire Investigators.Certificate and/or courses that are relevant to pursuing a career in fire investigation would include topics such as fire dynamics, incendiary fire, motor vehicle fire Investigation, Insurance and fire Investigation and other related topics (How to Become an Arson Investigator). Arson Investigators are responsible for determining who started the fire, acquiring evidence that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the suspect. Arson investigators often testify in court as expert witnesses regarding the techniques used to gather the evidence against the accused.Arson investigators also work to determine the cause and origin of the fire in many agencies; however this overlaps with much of what a fire investigator’s Job ascription Is.
Arson Investigators work In both the private and public sectors (How to attempt to prove malicious intent and the scientific aspect revolving around starting a fire, is complicated. When a fire is extinguished by a locality police department, the investigation process begins with police investigators and scientists or engineers hired by the underlying law enforcement agency.These arson investigators will evaluate the crime scene, collect evidence, and reconstruct the actions which precluded the fire to conclude whether the fire was started with malicious intent (Arson Laws). A fire investigator has an in-depth understanding of fire behavior and working knowledge of building construction and engineering. Fire investigators should also have an in-depth knowledge of types of fuel, the ease of ignition of each fuel and the impact of each fuel on the development of a fire.Fire investigators are required to be capable of collecting, securing, packaging and transporting physical evidence. The evidence that fire investigators collect will be used in the prosecution of an individual responsible for an intentionally set fire and will often times testify as expert witnesses at trial.
A fire investigator documents fire scenes through the use of photography, so a working knowledge of still and photography is required.