Principles of Fire Investigation

This multi-program certificate helps both new and experienced investigators to improve essential knowledge and skills that are necessary to form a strong foundation of fire investigation knowledge by completing twenty required online modules. To complete each program required for the “Principles of Fire Investigation” multi-program certificate, view all the sections of each required module, complete the required readings, and pass the Skills Challenge test. Once all modules have been completed, a downloadable certificate will become available in the User Console, on the user's Completed Programs page, and on the certificate's main page. The multi-program certificate, once completed, is also added to the transcript.


Charting Your Career Path In Fire Investigation
This module looks at the many ways fire investigators enter and grow in the profession through academia, the fire service, law enforcement, insurance, and engineering. (more)
Critical Evaluation and Testing of Commonly Reported Accidental Causes
This module takes a closer look at four of the most commonly-reported accidental fire causes according to "NFPA Fact Sheet. (more)
Understanding Undetermined
This module will untangle the meanings of "undetermined," straighten out how to use the term correctly, talk about how not to use it, and describe how to properly report fires where "undetermined" is the cause or classification. (more)
Fire Flow Analysis
This module examines these concepts to help all professionals tasked with determining fire origin and cause better understand fire flow dynamics so they can apply that knowledge to both to fire investigation and to fire attack. (more)
Ethics and the Fire Investigator
Should you work for a private lab as a consultant if you are on an Arson Task Force? How about accepting discounts from the local hardware store as a “thanks” for a job well done on a fire they had last year? (more)
NFPA1033 and Your Career
This module educates the investigator about NFPA 1033’s importance, its requirements, and how those requirements impact the fire investigator’s professional development. (more)
Fire Chemistry
This module addresses the foundations of fire chemistry and places it within the context of fire scene investigations. (more)
Explosion Dynamics
This module teaches the foundational knowledge of explosion dynamics, which is a necessary precursor to investigating an explosion scene. (more)
Residential Electrical Systems
This module teaches the basics of the electrical power generation, distribution, and transmission system. (more)
Residential Natural Gas Systems
This module presents the basics of natural gas and its uses and system components in a residence. (more)
The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation
The basics of the scientific method are deceptively simple: observe, hypothesize, test, and conclude. (more)
Fire Investigator Scene Safety
The evaluation of hazards and the assessment of the relative risks associated with the investigation of fires and explosions are critical factors in the management of any investigation. (more)
Documenting the Event
This program provides a practical overview of how to perform the baseline documentation tasks that occur at every scene. (more)
Fundamentals of Interviewing
This module presents best practices in preparing for and conducting the informational interview with witnesses in the fire investigation case. (more)
Introduction to Evidence
This program introduces the fire investigator to the issues related to the collection, handling and use of evidence related to a fire investigation. (more)
Physical Evidence at the Fire Scene
The program illustrates for the fire investigator, how non-traditional fire scene evidence can be helpful during an investigation. (more)
Insurance and the Fire Investigation
This program discusses how to access insurance information, understand insurance documents, ask key questions of witnesses, and apply the information learned. (more)
Writing the Initial Origin and Cause Report
This module presents the key elements of the initial origin and cause report and methods of clearly presenting findings in a professional manner. (more)
Effective Investigation and Testimony
This module will discuss the techniques and strategies for conducting a proper science-based fire scene investigation and effectively presenting an investigator’s findings in court as an expert witness. (more)
Investigating Motor Vehicle Fires
This program will introduce the fire investigator to the basic methodologies use to investigate vehicle fires. (more)

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