Fire and Arson Investigation

Fire and arson investigators examine the physical attributes of a fire scene and identify and collect physical evidence from the scene. This evidence is then analyzed to help determine if the cause of the fire was accidental or deliberate. During the scene examination, investigators may find evidence such as accelerants, tampered utilities, and specific burn patterns, which may indicate criminal activity.

NIJ addresses the specific needs of the fire and arson investigation community by funding research to develop new and improved tools and techniques to interpret, identify and analyze evidence at fire scenes.

NIJ funds research to:

  • Better understand fire dynamics.
  • Improve ways to detect, analyze and identify accelerants, such as gasoline.
Date Modified: October 2, 2012