Arson Investigation Books: Investigating the Cause of Fires


Arson investigation, also known as fire investigation, is the investigation and analysis of fire-related incidents. Arson detectives use a variety of forensic analysis methods, crime scene investigation techniques and chemical analysis to evaluate a fire scene.

After firefighters or firemen extinguish a fire, a fire investigation is launched to determine the cause of the fire or explosion. Arson is one of the most common and most expensive crimes committed.  Private investigators with experience as a fireman or fire marshal may specialize in conducting arson investigations.

Whether you are an experienced arson investigator, or just want to offer the service to your clients, the following arson investigation books will provide you with helpful information and reference materials such as:

  • How to become an arson investigator or fire investigator
  • Where to get arson investigation training and continuing education
  • How to use forensic science and crime scene investigation techniques
  • How to find a job as an arson or fire investigator
  • How to determine cause and origin or a fire
  • Most commonly used tools and equipment
  • How to conduct chemical analysis on physical evidence and analyze the results

Following is a list of books that provide information on arson investigations:

Practical Fire and Arson Investigation: Second Edition (Practical Aspects of Criminal & Forensic Investigation)

Billions of dollars in property damage are caused by arson each year. In this arson investigation book, Practical Fire and Arson Investigation, the author provides compelling statistics on the threat of arson and incendiary acts. In addition, he provides practical crime scene investigation methods, forensic science information, and advice for investigating these types of crimes. The book provides specific details on the basic principles, and advanced applied forensic techniques for conducting a thorough fire and arson investigation.

This is the second edition of the book and it has been significantly updated from the first edition, with more than 40$ new material added. New topics covered in this book include:

  • How to use forensic science investigation methods to determine the origin and cause of a fire
  • How to eliminate accidental fire causes, investigating fatal fires and vehicular fires, and documenting the fire/crime scene
  • How to take fire scene photography using
  • The importance of physical evidence preservation and the analysis in civil litigation of liability and product defects

Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction
This arson investigation book talks about such topics as physical evidence and burn patterns on buildings and vehicles.  The book describes a new approach to reconstructing fire and arson crime scenes using both forensic science and behavioral science.

You’ll read about such topics as: Identifiable fire pattern damage, human factors involved, identifying physical evidence of human activity, and the application of the scientific method based upon relevant scientific principles and research. This book is great for private investigators, law enforcement investigators, criminal prosecutors, and fire protection experts.

Blaze: The Forensics of Fire

This book, written by a journalist and television writer, looks at fire and arson investigators and the investigations they conduct. The book is based on both research and interviews with fire detectives to help the reader understand the craft. The author explains how fires are examined and goes in depth on a large fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, which killed over 80 people.

Combating Arson-for-Profit: Advanced Techniques Investigators

The second edition of Combating Arson-for-Profit explains how to prepare and present a case after the investigation is complete.

The book also includes a companion disk with forms, illustrations and flowcharts, which are helpful to the beginning fire detective.

The information in this book provides the reader with knowledge necessary to conduct effective investigations into individuals and groups who attempt to profit from the act of arson or bombing. The book is useful to fire and arson investigators fire science professionals, forensic science and criminal justice instructors, criminal prosecutors, defense counsels, judicial officials, and insurance investigators.


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