FRSC206 Fire Investigation

Department of Professional Studies: Fire Science

I. Course Number and Title
FRSC206 Fire Investigation
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course introduces the students to scientific procedures for determining the causes of fires. Students learn to recognize the fire scene, burn patterns, thermal indicators, arson indicators, and the dynamics of fire development. Students gain an insight into the fire setter's motives and personality characteristics.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. construct a valid, scientific, fact-based , fire investigation based upon a thorough understanding of the purpose and sequence of fire investigation;
    2. analyze the physical characteristics of an arson fire; and
    3. demonstrate an understanding of a fire setter's motive and personality characteristics.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. understanding the analytical approach to fire investigation
    2. the chemistry and behavior of fire, the combustion properties of solid fuels
    3. the behavior of fire in structures and the firefighter's and company officer's role in a fire investigation
    4. the basics of electricity and wiring systems and how they relate to fire causes
    5. recognizing common fuels at a fire scene
    6. how to document, sketch, and photograph a fire scene
    7. students will formulate a scientific hypothesis as to the cause of a fire and test the hypothesis through examination and evidence
    8. vehicle fire investigation
    9. fire setters and their motives
    10. common methods of ignition, equipment and accelerates used in arson
    11. investigating a fire death
    12. preparation of a concise report on the cause of a fire and preparation for courtroom testimony
    13. laboratory services available to the fire investigator and how to collect and maintain evidence from a fire scene
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    The assessment of course learning goals will be based on classroom discussions, written exams, assignments, papers, and/or performance based tasks and projects.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date -11/00; course number revised 3/2010; Revised 4/2012; New Core 8/2015