NFPA Offers Guidance for Fire Investigations

March 13, 2002
The NFPA issues a White Paper on post-fire analysis in an effort to improve the investigation of fires and, hopefully, reduce the number of fires in the future.

The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Fire Protection Research Foundation has issued a White Paper on post-fire analysis, hoping to improve the process of fire investigation. The paper, available at no cost from the foundation, is the first in a series of recommendations that will be issued from several other advisory councils, each convened by the foundation to examine one area of fire-related activity.

The Research Advisory Council on Post-Fire Analysis, an independent 14-member panel from industry, research, insurance, government and the fire service, developed the white paper. It reviews the status of the techniques and knowledge base of post-fire investigations and presents recommendations for research and development needs in the area of post-fire analysis. The council hopes to prompt industry, insurance groups and researchers to move forward on initiatives to improve fire investigation and analysis.

Post-fire analysis comprises a wide range of activities, which identify where and how a given fire or group of fires started and the factors contributing to fire loss. Traditionally, most post-fire analysis efforts are focused on origin and cause with emphasis on civil and criminal litigation. The basis for identification of fire origin and cause has evolved mainly from practical knowledge rather than scientific research.

"The fire investigation community has just begun to benefit from scientific validation that supports traditional interpretation of fire patterns," says Daniel Churchward, president of Kodiak Enterprises Inc., a member of the council.

The council identified five broad areas where progress is needed in post-fire analysis. These are:

  • Origin and cause investigation methods
  • Deaths, injuries, property losses and building costs
  • Education, training and dissemination
  • Environmental impacts of fire and fire protection
  • Business impacts

The white paper addresses impact, research/development and benefit to groups from advances in these categories. Research undertaken as a result of the white paper's recommendations could subsequently be incorporated into proposed new fire codes and standards or into the appendix of NFPA 921.

The white paper is available in hard copy by contacting the Research Foundation at 617-984-7283, or in PDF format by logging on to NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org/Research/Foundation/Foundation.asp.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!