Global Leaders in Fire Investigation®

IAAI Course Catalog

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 Fire Investigation Technician certification.
Delivery Time: Five Days

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

Advanced Forensic Photography for Investigators
Attendees will receive instruction in the critical elements of photography as they relate to forensic investigations. This program emphasizes best practices to accurately capture digital images which will be used for comparative or analytical purposes such as crime scene investigation and accident reconstruction. This intensive, hands-on program reinforces the theory covered in the Forensic Photography program. Attendees will use their own equipment to capture images under various conditions including “low light” scenes. They will gain knowledge in the use of alternative lighting techniques to find and photograph evidence which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to see. The instructor will demonstrate how to document various scenes and specific types of evidence. Attendees will the demonstrate proficiency in similar types of scenes while receiving instructor feedback.
 
Upon completion of this class, attendees will be able to accurately record digital images of various types of evidence and scenes. This includes impression evidence such as tool marks, bite marks, footwear and tire marks. Best practices are demonstrated to ensure investigators are able to accurately document problematic scenes such as collisions, fire scenes, and low light scenes. Maintaining the integrity of the digital media is emphasized throughout the class.
Delivery Time: One Day
This class is not appropriate for Point and Shoot cameras, as they have limited functionality. Participants should bring and have a good working knowledge of a DSLR camera.

CFITrainer.Net® Module Prerequisite:
•Digital Photography and the Fire Investigator

Complex Fire Investigation for the Insurance Industry
Fire investigation and fire claims investigations are being held to greater responsibility and accountability by our courts than ever before. As such, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) developed Complex Fire Investigation for the Insurance Industry, creating a partnership that spans more
than 25 years.

Complex Fire Investigation for the Insurance Industry was created as a training course that would benefit both criminal law enforcement and the insurance industry. Complex Fire Investigation for the Insurance Industry is an adult-based, interactive learning opportunity, teaching the latest advanced investigative techniques. One of the highlights of this week-long program is a practical exercise in which students can apply their knowledge to the investigation of complex arson, fraud and for-profit schemes. Topics include, but are not limited to:
• Civil vs. Criminal Law Financial Investigations
• Overview of Origin/Cause-Systematic Approach - Vetting an Expert
• Multi-defendant Arson Insurance Fraud Case Study
• Interaction of Insurance and Law Enforcement at Large-Loss Fires
• Spoliation
• The Daubert Rule
• Electronic Data Collection and more!!!
Delivery Time: Five Days

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 / 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; and Case Studies.

Delivery Time: Three Days

CFITrainer.Net® Module Prerequisites:
• Arc Mapping Basics • Basic Electricity • Electrical Safety
• Residential Electrical Systems • Introduction to Evidence

Electrical Fundamentals
This block of instruction will serve to satisfy, in part or whole, requirements concerning continuing education posted in NFPA 1033 Section 1.3.7.
• The components of an electrical service, circuitry, modes of failure, and arc mapping.
• Define basic electrical terms.
• Identify common electrical failure mechanisms.
• Describe common electrical systems and components found in a home.
• Examine a fire of potential electrical origin.
Program topics include: Safety, Electrical Safety, NFPA Chapter 9 (Electricity & Fire), Basic Electricity, Building Electrical Systems, Electrical Heating (five forms), Electrical Failure, Arcing, and Electrical Fire Investigation.
Delivery Time: One Day

Evidence Collection Technician (IAAI-ECT®)
The Evidence Collection Technician Program is designed to verify an applicant’s fundamental knowledge as measured against core job performance requirements of established professional qualifications standards and standard industry practices related to evidence collection on fire scenes. This measurement is not all inclusive of the incorporated professional standards sited, but lays the foundation for measuring the holder’s fundamental ability to perform specific evidence collection tasks related to fire scene investigation at an acceptable level as measured against published acceptable practices.

The applicant must provide documentation of meeting minimum requirements including experience, training, and education. Upon approval they must successfully pass a comprehensive practicum examination.

REQUIREMENTS/EXPERIENCE:
• A minimum of 18 months of general experience in a fire investigation related industry.
• A minimum of 12 items of forensic evidence collected. The applicant is responsible for submitting general supporting documents that include the location of the examination, the date of the examination, and the particular type(s) of evidence collected.

TRAINING EDUCATION:
• Minimum of 29 hours of tested training.

CFITrainer.Net® Module Prerequisites: 
• DNA (3 hours)
• Documenting the Event (4 hours)
• Ethics and the Fire Investigator (3 hours)
• The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation (3 hours)
• Evidence Examination: What Happens at the Lab? (4 hours)
• Introduction to Evidence (4 hours)
• NFPA 1033 and Your Career (2 hours)
• Physical Evidence at the Fire Scene (4 hours)
• The Practical Application of the Relationship Between NFPA 1033 and NFPA 921 (2 hours)
 
COMPREHENSIVE PRACTICAL EXAMINATION:
• Applicants must pass all critical elements and achieve a minimum score of 70% on each of the 10 components of the practical testing to be deemed to have successfully challenged the exam.
Examination Period: Four Hours

Expert Report Writing
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 -- origin and cause report, and deposition/trial testimony -- should reflect a high working knowledge of 921 and 1033, 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 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 Prerequisite:
• Writing the Initial Origin and Cause Report

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 spending 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; and How to Write and Present Your Opinion Analysis.

The court preparation 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 IAAI-CFI® (IAAI-Certified Fire Investigator) application.

Delivery Time: Two and ½ 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 the following CFITrainer.Net® Module Prerequisites:
• The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation
• Effective Investigation and Testimony
 
Students will be required to update (or create) their Curriculum Vitae (CV) Resume, prepare an opinion analysis and court testimony plan, and create two courtroom exhibits.
 
You will receive your pre-course work six weeks before the course date. You must be prepaid to receive the course materials.

Fire Dynamics
The detailed study of how chemistry, fire science, and engineering disciplines of fluid mechanics and heat transfer interact to influence fire behavior.
• Define and explain basic fire chemistry terminology.
• Define and explain the behavior of fire.
• Define and explain the modes of heat transfer.
This block of instruction will serve to satisfy, in part or whole, requirements concerning continuing education posted in NFPA 1033 Section 1.3.7.
Program topics include: NFPA 921, NFPA 1033, Fire, Fuels, Oxygen, Temperature, Heat, Combustion, Flame, Ignition, Fire Development & Decay, Ventilation, Fire Growth, and Fire Modeling.
Delivery Time: One Day
 
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 Prerequisite:
• Digital Photography and the Fire Investigator

Giving Stronger Deposition and Trial Testimony
Public and private sector fire investigators are often called upon to provide deposition and trial testimony. Adverse counsel will seek to elicit testimony establishing that the investigator is not qualified under NFPA 1033 or did not follow the appropriate NFPA 921 methodology thereby calling into question the reliability of his opinions on origin and cause. This video intensive course will explain the deposition process in civil litigation, review situations where an investigator can be vulnerable, and teach the investigator how to demonstrate confidence and a strong presence while testifying during a deposition or trial.
 
Specific topics include: Expert witness qualifications; NFPA 921 and the scientific method as used while providing testimony; understanding Daubert; expert reports; the deposition process; expert witness vulnerabilities; and how to testify with confidence.
Delivery Time: One Day

Investigating and Litigating Fire Losses for Subrogating Insurance Carriers
Insurance carriers pay billions of dollars every year for property damage caused by fire and aggressively investigate subrogation possibilities through counsel, private sector origin and cause investigators, and engineering consultants. The origin and cause investigator is a crucial member of the subrogation investigation team. The investigator’s opinions traditionally form the foundation for the insurer’s decision to put potentially responsible parties on notice of potential claims and schedule a joint scene exam. The investigator’s opinions are also instrumental in an insurer’s ultimate decision on whether to file a lawsuit against a responsible third party.
 
This presentation will discuss the subrogation investigation process for a fire loss with a specific emphasis on the origin and cause investigator and the avoidance of time consuming, costly, and potentially embarrassing mistakes. Topics will include: (a) how insurance company subrogation departments operate; (b) expectations of the origin and cause investigator; (c) interaction between the insurance company subrogation representative, subrogation counsel, and the origin and cause investigator; (d) interaction with the adverse origin and cause investigator and engineering consultant; (e) progression of a subrogation investigation through early file closure or trial; (f) commonly encountered investigation errors; (g) commonly encountered deposition/trial testimony errors; (h) evidence preservation and spoliation; and (i) keeping the client relationship intact.
Delivery Time: One Day

NFPA 921 Update
The detailed guide to fire investigations is an ever changing environment. This document is peer reviewed and published every three years. IAAI - Global Leaders in Fire Investigation® offers the most up-to-date training for the new edition; presented by members of the NFPA 921 Technical Committee.
 
By understanding the changes affecting the investigations of fire and explosion scenes you will be better prepared to investigate, present and articulate your case and opinions.
Delivery Time: One Day

Origin and Cause
This block of instruction will serve to satisfy, in part or whole, requirements concerning continuing education posted in NFPA 1033 Section 1.3.7.
• Evaluating and analyzing a fire scene using a systematic method to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
• Understand and apply systematic approach and scientific method to determine the area of fire origin, then cause.
• Identify fire patterns.
• Identify fire causes/ classifications.
• Identify methods of testing and eliminating hypotheses (as part of the scientific method).
Program topics include: NFPA 921 Chapter 18 – Origin Determination, NFPA 921 Chapter 19 – Fire Cause Determination, NFPA 1033, Fire Scene Investigation, Ignition Sources, First Fuel Ignited, Cause Classifications, Fire Investigation Methodology, Initial Response, Examination, Fire Patterns, Fire Effects, Ventilation, Reconstruction, Accidental Sources of Ignition, Evidence of Incendiarism, and Hypothesis Development & Testing.
Delivery Time: One Day

 
 
For information on bringing one of these classes to your area contact:
or call 1-800-468-IAAI.