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Understanding the Impact of Ventilation on Burn Patterns Can Aid Arson Investigations

NCJ Number
255072
Date Published
Agencies
NIJ
Annotation
This article details how National Institute of Justice-supported researchers conducted a series of experiments on fires with and without ventilation in order to provide fire investigators with more valid scientific data.
Abstract
According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 261,000 fires were intentionally set each year from 2010 to 2014 in the United States, with a resulting annual death rate of about 440 people. Establishing the origin and course of a fire are important first steps for determining whether arson was committed. The role of ventilation in a fire changes the fire patterns and this could lead to investigators making an inaccurate arson ruling. This article details how National Institute of Justice-supported researchers conducted a series of experiments on fires with and without ventilation in order to provide fire investigators with more valid scientific data. It also discusses a secondary study on how energized electrical cords fail when fires progress.
Date Created: August 24, 2020