SAMAC Engineering - Fire

Fire Investigation

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Whether a structural facility, vehicle, ship, or airplane fire, our engineers and consultants offer a unique blend of investigative, operational, and engineering experience to tackle any question, from origin and cause to fire department training and management.

Fire Origin and Cause

Identifying the origin and cause of a fire is the most important step in determining how to prevent a recurrence. It is also critical in determining liability in litigation cases.

Fire investigation has often been called part science and part art. The scientific process involves collection of data, analysis of the data, development of one or more theories based on the data analysis, testing and elimination of theories and selection of a final theory (determination of the cause). The art part stems from the investigator’s knowledge and experience and is the fabric, which ties together the steps in the scientific process into a logical outcome.

Because of the complexity of some fire investigations the investigative process may involve coordinating the efforts of experts in one, or a number of other disciplines.

Cause determination often requires looking beyond the obvious cause to identify what the real (root) cause was. This often involves failure analysis. For example, it may be determined that the cause of a fire was a damaged gas line and subsequent gas explosion. However, failure analysis might reveal that the damaged gas line was due to a faulty weld or an electrical arc due to a lightning event. Thus the faulty weld in the gas line would be the root cause of the fire. In some cases it could be taken even farther to determine what caused the faulty weld.

Our Fire Team