ENFP 489N/629N: Fire and Explosion Investigations (Technical Elective)

(3 credits)

Course note: The course will be taught as a dual senior-level undergraduate course, ENFP 489N and graduate course, ENFP 629N.

Instructor

Prerequisite

  • Permission of the Department

Textbook

  • Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction 3rd Edition

Course Description

  • This course presents an overview of fire and explosion investigation and reconstruction. Information on field techniques, applicable standards and best practices will be presented along with how fire science and fire dynamics can be applied to forensic analysis. Additionally laboratory work will be conducted to illustrate the application of fire dynamics to forensic scenes to assist in the determination of cause and evaluation of potential fire growth scenarios. Sample experiments include 2nd item ignition tests, ignition delay tests, and the course culminates with a series of 1:12 reduced scale house burns to allow the students to investigate and document a fire. This course also qualifies the student to sit for the NAFI Certified Fire Investigator test.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this course, the student should be able to:

  • Have an understanding of the applicable codes and standards related to forensic investigations
  • Understand the legal frameworks in which forensic investigations take place
  • Have an understanding of notable fire events
  • Have an ability to apply fire dynamics to forensic investigations
  • Understand the basic terminology and techniques involved in forensic investigations
  • Understand the role of the scientific method in forensic investigations

Tentative Couse Outline

  • Module 1: Class Introduction and Overview of Fire & Explosion Investigation & Reconstruction
  • Module 2: Fire Dynamics
  • Module 3: Ignition and Fire Patterns
  • Module 4: Fire Scene Documentation
  • Module 5: Fire Protection & Other System Performance
  • Module 6: Fire Testing
  • Module 7: Fire Deaths
  • Module 8: Electrical & Appliance Fires
  • Module 9: Legal Considerations
  • Module 10: Fire Modeling