Fire Investigation Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Fire Investigation Unit

How important is it to a city fire department to have an investigation unit? Since police departments in most cities have an investigation unit -- it seems logical given the issues related to fire and arson that fire departments should also incorporate investigation units into their programs. This paper provides positive arguments in favor of an investigation unit, arguments that the fire chief can use in his presentation to the county council.

The field of fire investigation is "…extremely specialized" and there are a very limited number of "truly certified individuals" that have the needed training and experience to conduct "thorough, competent investigations" (United Professional Fire Fighters). In other words, fire departments should hire a proven professional in this field -- or select one or more quality firefighters from the current department to be sent to a training program -- and in either case this will cost the city significant money from the budget. Training a professional firefighter to become an investigator (not just an arson investigator, which involves police as well) is not a matter of sending a qualified firefighter to a weekend seminar.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for fire inspectors is $52,230, and the individual seeking to become a fire investigator must first attend a training academy prior to launching into investigations (BLS.gov). Among the tasks that a fire inspector is assigned to is the inspection of buildings "…to search for fire hazards" and to be certain that all local, state and federal fire codes are met (BLS.gov). When a new building goes up, the fire inspector / investigator makes sure that fire alarms, sprinklers and other fire protection equipment is adequate. The fire investigator also reviews emergency evacuation plans and for all buildings, and he or she conducts "…fire and life safety education programs" in the community, especially in public and private schools (BLS.gov).

What do fire department investigation units actually do after a fire, and how important are those units? First of all, a fire investigation unit is designed and trained to help determine what caused a fire. What materials were involved in the fire and what allowed the fire to spread?…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Flannery Associates. (2008). Section 4 -- Fire Investigation & Arson / Unit 1 -- Fire Investigation

& Fire Loss. Retrieved October 26, 2012, from http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~tglan/documents/101docs/FIS101fireinvestigation.pdf.

United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County. (2010). Fire Investigation Unit.

Retrieved October 26, 2012, from http://www.iafflocal1230.org.

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