Arson Investigations: Research and Analysis Tools for Fire Investigations

arson investigations

What is Arson Investigation?

Arson Investigation involves the study of fire-damaged physical evidence and crime scenes to detect arson, which is the crime of setting a fire for an unlawful or improper purpose.

The techniques involved in arson investigations require a basic understanding in the chemistry of explosives, the materials used in the formation of explosives, and the various ways in which explosives are interrelated and initiated.

Private investigators may engage in conducting actual arson investigations, arson insurance investigations, arson insurance fraud investigations, or forensic arson investigations.

Arson Investigation Resources

Following are websites that provide additional information on arson and fire investigations.

  • International Association of Arson Investigators Educational Foundation – The International Association of Arson Investigators Educational Foundation, Inc. was formed in 1989 for the purpose of securing a permanent building to serve as International headquarters for the Association. Over the years, the Foundation has expanded and grown into a number of different areas. The Foundation mission statement now reflects this growth.
  • International Association of Fire Fighters – The International Association of Fire Fighters has more than 2,900 affiliates, representing fire fighters in more than 3,500 communities in the U.S. and Canada. The 274,000 members of the IAFF are the nation’s full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics, who protect the lives and property of 85 percent of the nation’s population.
  • Arson and Fire Investigation Books – A collection of fire investigation books and arson investigation books and publications.
  • Fire Investigators Dictionary – Fire and arson terms and definitions as defined in the 1995 Edition of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation
  • Mesothelioma Web – Firefighters are at risk of asbestos exposure because of its frequent use in older structures and its ability to linger in the air even after a fire has been extinguished. Mesothelioma Web has been one of the most comprehensive sites on asbestos and mesothelioma for over ten years, providing information and support to those who have been exposed to asbestos.  Mesothelioma Web has achieved HON (Health On the Net) code approval; HON is a non-profit organization whose mission is to guide people to accurate medical information and expertise online and thereby to contribute to improved health care through patient empowerment and better informed health professionals.
  • National Fire Protection Association – The world’s leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety. In fact, NFPA’s 300 codes and standards influence every building, process, service, design, and installation in the United States, as well as many of those used in other countries. NFPA’s focus on true consensus has helped the association’s code-development process earn accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  • U.S. Fire Administration – Training and educational opportunities for the Fire Service and allied organizations. Also available are fire statistics, public fire education campaign materials, and information on funding opportunities. Federal travelers will find a directory of approved, fire-safe hotels, and information on home fire safety.

Government Resources for Fire and Arson Investigations


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