Global Leaders in Fire Investigation®

IAAI Course Catalog

Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony
The Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony course walks you through what it's like to testify as an expert witness in a real case. During the class, you will spend time with actual attorneys giving your deposition, preparing for your testimony, as well as spend the day in a courtroom where you will take the stand for direct examination and cross examination.

If you have never been called upon as an Expert Witness, this class will give you the opportunity to better understand the monumental task of preparing for court and then experience testifying in a real courtroom environment with actual attorneys.

The classroom portion of the course covers; Legal System Overview; Court Rules and case law; Qualifying as an expert and standing by your Curriculum Vitae; How to write and present your Opinion Analysis.

The preparing for court portion covers; The Practical Exercise; Court Exhibits: how to present and what should be included; Presentation of Evidence; best practices; and Working with an Attorney.

The course meets the testimony requirement for the IAAl-CFI
(IAAI-Certified Fire Investigator) application.

Delivery Time: Two and 1/2 Days

Prerequisites: The course requires more than 40 hours of
preliminary case work, for which you have six weeks to
prepare and submit, and includes taking and passing:
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation;
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Effective Investigation and Testimony;
  • Updating (or writing) your Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  • Preparing an opinion analysis and your court testimony plan;
  • Creating two courtroom exhibits.

You will receive your other pre-course work 6 weeks before the course date. You must be prepaid to receive these additional courses materials!

40 Hour Fundamentals of Fire Investigation
This 40 hour course is designed to provide the new fire investigator with the prerequisite knowledge necessary to properly determine the origin and cause of a fire and to refresh the experienced fire investigator with his/her current knowledge base as it relates to the scientific investigation of a fire scene. The course is designed to be taught in a week long period but can be spread out over time depending on the needs of the agency or department.

This course provides the basis for the IAAI-FIT (IAAI Fire Investigation Technician) certification.

Delivery Time: 40 Hours (One Week)

  • CFITrainer.Net Module: The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation;
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Understanding Fire Through the Candle Experiments
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Fire Investigator Scene Safety

Investigating Vehicle Fires
Topics and activities include: How to investigate and discover behavior of fire in vehicles, vehicle systems, compartments, stolen vehicles and owner give-ups; Safety issues at the fire scene and upon impound; An overview of NFPA 921, Chapter 25 (recommended pre-class reading); Classification of cause; Hands-on car fire investigation: a team-based group origin and cause investigation; Evidence collection; Evidence handling and preservation; Team-based report generation; Team presentations

Delivery Time: One Day

  • Read NFPA 921 Chapter 25;
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Fire Investigator Scene Safety
  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Investigating Motor Vehicle Fires
Investigation of Youth Set Fires
Providing law enforcement and fire Investigators the specific tools needed to investigate and identify youth who set fires. This two day seminar specifically addresses the legal rights of juveniles, interviewing and interrogating techniques for youth of different development levels, and the creation of a case file that can be used to proceed with criminal prosecution or as a referral basis for non-criminal actions. A multidisciplinary team consisting of a fire investigator, a police/arson investigator, a juvenile justice professional and a district or prosecuting attorney models the kind of cooperation that is needed to successfully investigate and intervene with a juvenile who is miss-using fire or explosives.

Delivery Time: Two Days

  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Fundamentals of Interviewing

Digital Forensics in Arson Investigation & Social Media
Attendees of the Digital Forensics in Arson Investigation will leave with a diverse understanding how digital forensics should be a part of every investigation they undertake. From computers and cell phones to GPS devices, digital evidence is waiting to be found if the investigator has been trained to look for it. Some of the topics that will be covered are: email discovery, social media chat/text messages, deleted/hidden files, internet search history, timeline of the suspect's activity, court room testimony, expanded cell phone evidence, GPS historical trip logs and much more. This course will give each investigator the knowledge and skill to successfully solve cases that previously would have been closed with suspicions but no real evidence. As the saying goes "you won't find it if you do not know to look for it''.

Delivery Time: One Day

  • CFITrainer.Net Module:The Potential Value of Electronic Evidence inFire Investigations

Electrical Aspects of Fire Investigation
This course addresses the critical skills essential to the effective investigation and evaluation of fires involving potential electrical fire causes. This course utilizes state of the art techniques, practices, protocols and standards to assist investigators to properly and effectively evaluate electrical systems and associated components to ascertain their role in a fire. Students will be provided with a basic knowledge of electricity, electrical circuits and distribution systems, proper evaluation and recognition of common
electrical faults and failures of electrical components and circuits, as well as a working knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and how it applies to fire investigations. The use of "Arc Mapping" will also be discussed and how it can be effectively used to assist in fire origin determination. Participants will also be able to demonstrate a general knowledge of electricity, electrical circuits, systems and arc mapping principles through a series of instructor-led "hands-on” practical exercises.

Topics to be covered: Scene Safety; Definitions /Terms; Atomic Theory and Electricity; Ohm's Law I Joules' Law; Magnetism; AC vs. DC; Transformers; Three Phase Power; Branch Circuits; Service Entrance; Meter Usage; Circuit Breakers; Wiring; Measuring Voltage & Current; Electrical Failure; Evidence Collection; Scene Processing; Electrical Heating; Arcing Through Char & Melting; Examination Hints; Myth Avoidance; Arc Mapping; Open Neutral Failure; Intrusion Alarm and Surveillance Systems; Electrical Examinations; Case Studies.

Delivery Time: Three Days

The following CFITrainer.Net modules are prerequisites. A transcript showing completion will be required two weeks prior to class start date.
  • Arc Mapping Basics
  • Basic Electricity
  • Electrical Safety
  • Introduction to Evidence
  • Residential Electrical Systems

Expert Report Writing and your CV
While all fire investigators are familiar with NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033, uncertainty as to how best to deal with 921 and 1033 in the "real world" to the investigator's best strategic advantage during an origin and cause investigation still remains in the fire investigation community. Everything about a fire investigator including his or her curriculum vitae, origin and cause report, and deposition/trial testimony should reflect a high working knowledge of 1033 and 921, and should demonstrate that the origin and cause investigation was conducted in complete conformity with NFPA 921. This practical course will provide fire investigators with the necessary tools to survive the various legal challenges to their expert qualifications and testimony, including: how to draft a "gold standard" curriculum vitae in full conformity with NPFA 1033; how to draft an origin and cause report in full conformity with NFPA 921; and how to survive legal challenges to your expert qualifications and opinion under NPFA 1033 and Daubert.

Delivery Time: One Day

  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Writing the Initial Origin and Cause Report
Forensic Photography
This program is geared towards the field operator who works in varying conditions with minimal equipment. It emphasizes field expedient techniques which may be employed by the average person with minimal training. Topics will include basic photography, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and lighting.
This is a hands-on class bring your camera and the manual to your camera.

Delivery Time: One Day

  • CFITrainer.Net Module: Digital Photography and the Fire Investigator
Investigating Butane Hash Oil Fires
This class will give the student an understanding of how laws that have legalized the use and possession of Marijuana and Hash Oil are impacting the fire investigation community. As a consequence of Amendment 64 in Colorado, many people in that State have been manufacturing the very lucrative and potent Butane Hash Oil. The instructor for this class, Captain Siegfried Klein, IAAI-CFI, CI, has first-hand experience in dealing with and investigating these fires.
Since 2014 the manufacturing of Butane Hash Oil has led 40 documented explosions/fires in private and multi-family residence in Colorado. With more states considering the legalization of recreational marijuana, it is not a matter of if you will encounter a butane Hash oil explosion, but of when. Be prepared for the unusual circumstances and know what to look for to keep you and your crews safe.
This course will address the process of manufacturing Butane Hash Oil and address the chemicals, dangers and associated risks to First Responders and Investigators that Butane Hash Oil presents. Accepted practices for the response to BHO labs and explosions will be discussed and shared. Investigative considerations, such as manufacturing apparatus, chemical precursors and final product identification will be addressed. This course includes demonstrative evidence seized by the Aurora Fire Department, Fire and Explosive Investigators.
This will conclude in an actual recreation of a butane hash oil explosion/fire in a burn cell (if available).
For information on bringing one of these classes to your area contact:
or call 1-800-468-IAAI.