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Experts Who Investigate Fires & Explosions – Who Are They?

In case you did not learn the science of fire in childhood scouting or school, there are three components to the fire triangle:  oxygen, heat & fuel.  Now as grown ups (in our professional lives), we seek forensic experts to investigate the contributing factors to a fire or an explosion.  Typically, one or more of these expert disciplines are involved in forensic analysis:  Origin & Cause, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering.

Is a certain discipline best suited to investigate a fire or explosion?  Some may think that if a fire involves a building or structure then a civil engineer is needed.  Others believe that since their claim involves a machine that a mechanical engineer is ideal, and still others believe that since their fire may have originated with an electronic device that an electrical engineer would be the logical choice.  Finally, fires aboard watercraft are common, and marine engineers may be asked to investigate those accidents.

Although the above scenarios appear to be logical they fail to take note of a simple fact.  No single specialty is more suited than any other to investigate your fire or explosion, but an investigator with the proper training, certification and experience is an absolute necessity to properly investigate any fire or explosion.  Inquiries regarding fire and explosion investigations should ask the question “Do you have a certified fire and explosion investigator and does he/she have training based on the requirements outlines in NFPA 1033 and up to date training on NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations?”

By selecting an expert who has an engineering background in addition to being competent (up to date certification) in fire and explosion investigations, cost savings and efficiency in the investigation may be achieved.  As you may have many questions regarding your choice of experts, I recommend consulting with CED early in your claim or case.

Contact CED Here 

Featured Engineer

Russell Simmons, P.E., CFEI  For a complete expert profile click here

Areas of Expertise
Electrical Distribution Systems
Design & Control of Dynamic Systems
Electrical Control Systems
Arc Flash
Cyber Security
Electrical Generating Systems
Electrical Grounding
Electrical Safety and Analysis
Emergency Generators
Energy Management
Lighting Systems
Lightning Protection Systems
Photovoltaic Systems
Power Quality Process Control and Safety Systems
Process Plant Operations

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