If a fire cannot be prevented, a clear cause must be determined.
The ability to examine a fire scene and reconstruct the sequence of events that took place is part:
Skills – used to examine burn patterns and characteristics.
Science - used to analyze materials that burned or may have failed.
When put together, a clear picture of how a fire started usually begins to take shape. It is the skilled fire investigator that can put these two together to know who, what, how, and when a fire started.
Knowing how a fire started can provide valuable information that can lead to:
Processes that we use daily
The public can be educated on how best to prevent similar fires in the future.
Defective products can be recalled.
Account for tens of thousands of fires annual
Intentionally set fires
If arson is suspected, Chesterfield Fire & EMS Fire Marshal's team up with Chesterfield Police Detectives to solve the crime.
Fire Marshal's Investigation Unit - for complex incidents, a specially equipped van, responds to the scene. The equipment contained in this unit can:
Conduct Field Tests and Sampling
Central Virginia Arson Task Force - Participating jurisdictions are available to provide support and technical assistance to other member jurisdictions as needed.