CFITrainer.Net Podcast

The IAAI and CFITrainer.Net present these podcasts with a focus on issues relating to fire investigation. With expertise from around the world, the International Association of Arson Investigators produces these podcasts to bring more information and electronic media to fire investigators looking for training, education and general information about fire investigation. Topics include recent technologies, issues in the news, training opportunities, changes in laws and standards and any other topic that might be of interest to a fire investigator or industry professional affected by fire. Information is presented using a combination of original stories and interviews with scientists, leaders in fire investigation from the fire service and the law enforcement community.

October 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast

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Welcome to IAAI’s October 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast. What happens to a fire investigation when media scrutiny, public fear, political pressure, and the need to catch an arsonist before he strikes again come together? We’ll find out what lessons Paul Zipper of the Massachusetts State Police has learned in a long career of working high-profile fire cases. After that interview, we’ll have the results of a study on why people leave stovetop cooking unattended and how new sensors under development may improve fire research.

Most fire investigations do not take place under pressure. There is time to conduct a thorough investigation, wait for lab results, and conduct as many interviews and document examinations as necessary. However, in some situations, such as when a serial arsonist is at work, public fear, media scrutiny, demands from politicians, and the time pressure to solve the case before another fire occurs can be intense. Trying to conduct a thorough and scientifically-sound investigation under these pressures can be challenging. In January 2010, a case just like this happened when a series of more than a dozen fires in Northampton, Massachusetts left two people dead and the community petrified and demanding answers. Paul Zipper, PhD, a sergeant in the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and a member of the Northampton Arson Task Force, was part of that team that arrested a suspect and elicited his confession. This was just the latest in a number of high profile cases that Dr. Zipper has worked, beginning in 1992 with the Lawrence, Massachusetts Arson Task Force. We’re pleased to have him with us today to lend his expertise in how to handle fire investigations when the heat is on. Welcome, Dr. Zipper.

PAUL ZIPPER: Good morning. Good afternoon, actually.

Q: So tell me Paul what happens when a routine investigation suddenly becomes a high profile case? Is there a moment when it happens? What’s the switch?

PAUL ZIPPER: It’s one of these things that I thought about before we had this discussion, and it’s really things surrounding the cause of the fire or what’s going on in the neighborhood. Different speculations. It was maybe a racial thing. It was a gang thing. That speculation starts to feed the case. If there are bodies involved, if there were some deaths, that feeds the stuff. And then - and sometimes it catches you off guard. It could be a slow news day and all of a sudden, this fire that you think no one really has an interest in becomes, you know, the top story of the day. So there’s a lot of different things that will turn a fire case into something that becomes high profile.

Q: So I guess the bottom line is just be ready all the time?

PAUL ZIPPER: Yeah, you have to be ready and you have to treat even the - again, sometimes in fire investigation, we look at, oh, this is only a small fire so it doesn’t matter. Oh, wait a second. This is a big fire; this - we have to treat this differently. Really, you have to use the same systems on every case and attempt the best way you can to block out the, you know, the distractions that come along with a high profile case.

Q: So how’s the investigation of the high profile instance organized across all the agencies in jurisdictions? You know, what mechanisms are there?

PAUL ZIPPER: Once you realize you’re going down a certain path and you need to bring in extra resources, you almost - you know, instead of speeding up, you slow down, take a step back. The scene doesn’t go anywhere if you can protect the scene, and then organize and almost over organize. Bring in maybe more people than you need until you realize, okay, we’ve got this under control. We can start to scale back. But that’s really how I’ve learned to deal with these major cases that I’ve either been a lead on or just been a bit player on is to really bring in that organization and slow things down.

Q: So you started to get to it, but you’re talking about, okay, now the pressure’s on. You got some of the team in place. What are some of the changes, if any, that you make to how a fire investigation is done when that heat’s on?

PAUL ZIPPER: The major advice I could give, if you had a new guy that was listening to this and they said, I had this big case, what do I do? The real - the secret is to slow down and I’ve learned - the one thing I’ve learned about fire investigation is the scene does not go anywhere. If you protect that scene and you set up a perimeter, you have police or whoever those people are that are protecting the scene and then you say, okay, listen, we’ve got this major incident, what do we do? And that’s where instead of running in there halfcocked and shoveling things and moving things, wait a second. What do we need for resources? Someone is - you know, becomes the lead, if you will, on this investigation. The major, major ones I’ve had, I’ve had, you know, the boss steps back and does all the - deals with the media, does all the updates, you know, makes decisions and he then will assign different roles to different people. I can speak to investigations I’ve had 50 people on working simultaneously in different teams and doing different things. So it’s really, let’s slow down. Let me bring in some more bodies. Let’s call and make sure that we’ve got the okay to work after 5 o’clock tonight because this is a big one. Again, you know, if the rest of the country is in the same shape as Massachusetts financially and with public safety stuff, the funding is not there, you know, to spend willy-nilly. You really need to have a plan. Are we going to work extra? Let’s get the okay to do that. So every single investigation is different, and I think it’s slow down, understand what resources you need, get all the players to the table, make decisions as best you can. And understand there are going to be times when not everyone agrees, but someone has to be able to say, look, I hear you, but we’re going to do this. And you stick with your plan. It’s really about, you know, again, working together, organization and just taking your time. The scene doesn’t go anywhere unless you’ve got some extenuating pending collapse or whether the situation that may be - but you just take all those factors into account and do the best you can.

Q: What are some of the things that you do to secure the scene appropriately so that you can be thorough and slow down?

PAUL ZIPPER: Every single district attorney’s office has their own policy, and they’ll have their own opinions onto what is the best practice, if you will. Now I can tell you as a fire investigator in Massachusetts, if I’m in there, you know, as part of the investigation and I start finding evidence of an accelerant, I typically - and I’m on the phone with a D.A. - they’re not telling me to stop and get a search warrant. That’s part of the fire scene investigation process, typically. However, if I have maybe three dead bodies in there and I start finding this stuff, they might say, well let’s slow down. You’ve got some, you know, let’s write a warrant to, you know, to make sure that we’re doing everything by the numbers. So, you know, if that was the case, we would back out, we would ask for police or fire personnel to secure the scene, we would put up some of the crime scene tape and we would until we got the proper authorization through the courts or maybe even the owner gives us a consent form to continue on. Every D.A.’s office may be different so we make sure we’re on the phone, we ask the appropriate questions. Look, we’re out here, here’s what we have, what would you like us to do? Now they might say, hang on, we’ll send someone out there or stop everything, come in, show me some photos or e-mail me photos or whatever the case may be and then we work together. So it isn’t me out there or my people or the local fire or police who are making these decisions. It’s a joint decision. And, you know, it’s a bunch of input. Ultimately, the district attorney’s office in my state, who would have jurisdiction over prosecuting crimes, would make the call on do we need a warrant, don’t we need a warrant? How do we write the warrant? Who writes the warrant? You know, what things go in the warrant? Again, it’s a joint effort, but ultimately if there’s a body or if it’s a crime, it’s the D.A.’s office who’s making those calls and we take a second seat to what they want us to do. That’s how we do that. But, again, it’s stop, you know, stop the presses, back out, let’s get done what we need to get done. Now we certainly can continue doing our interviews, going down to City Hall and collecting assessor’s information, doing aerial photos, you know, taking pictures of the exterior. There’s a million things we can do while we’re waiting for that authorization to go further into that structure to do our scene. So that’s what’s going on.

Q: Now you’ve got this fire or maybe you’ve got a series of fires. Talk a little bit about the impact of the community, the fear, and public pressure on the investigator?

PAUL ZIPPER: Yeah. In today’s society with limited resources and with so many other things happening, community fear and public pressure is a good thing because what it does is it gets other people involved. So the woman who saw someone go into the building that she knows before the fire, may have not picked up the phone to call that arson hotline, but with all the attention, media pressure, she’s thinking, ah, you know, I think I’ll - I didn’t think that was something, but I’ll let them know that it was - I saw Flocko go in the building carrying a can or running out. The other thing is you get neighbors or community businesses want to get involved in reward programs or sponsor, you know, benefits. They’ll do things like bring food and drinks to the investigators. You’ve got the media who, you know - again, is you can’t shun the media. They’ll cover the story. They’ll keep that in the people’s minds so instead of a situation where the fire happens and no one pays attention to it and you’re out there working by yourself or with a couple of investigators, now you’ve got all this public pressure on there. The mayor is showing up. The local agencies now say, well, I better free up some extra over time money for this and you need resources? Okay. We’ll give you a couple more bodies and so community fear and public pressure is not a bad thing. When people know you’re there, you’re going to respond and they feel like they have a place to call and tell their story, they’re going to do it. Now I can tell you that there are many cases where you might get, you know, 300 crazy leads, people called up. But you may get that one needle in the haystack and you’re going this is something we got to follow up. This may be the one. So all that public pressure created people calling up. You got to look at it as a positive thing.

Q: As the fire investigator -

PAUL ZIPPER: Yup.

Q: - and I’m not even sure this question is appropriate because so many people have public information officers, how do you communicate with a community to reassure them yet maintain integrity of the investigation? Is that even part of your -

PAUL ZIPPER: Yeah, it is. Well, let me tell you this. Let’s say, for example, and this is how this would fit it. Let’s say we have a serial fire setter and we have fire one, and, again, we - sometimes we get caught up in size, you know, but let’s say that we have a small fire and I respond to that. And a local reporter comes out and, again, they’re not going to - PIO is not going to come out for that, you know, for a small fire and the local news person might ask you a question, the local, and you give them a straight answer. You know, we’re under investigation, we’re following our leads, you know, we’re doing everything we can do. In many small type, the non-high profile cases, myself, the incident commander, the local fire investigator from the local fire and police department, they are making those kind of statements because it didn’t rise to that level of that PIO. Now when you’ve got your 10th or 15th or 20th fire in the same community over a period and now other players get involved, the PIOs get involved or the spokesperson of that group and it’s really the same process. We’re doing everything we can do. We have a systematic process. We’re following our leads, but like you said, the trick is - and you hit on this in the question - is that I can’t be announcing to the media that we have a serial fire setter or that we have - someone’s pouring gasoline in the back stairwell on every fire at 3 o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday night. You can’t do that stuff because now that leakage of information affects when I talk to the guy or people down the road and they say, yeah, we went in on - you know, we would plan every Thursday night because that’s when I played bingo and I would lose. I get liquored up. I would go to these buildings and I’d pour gas in the back stairwell, I’d light it on fire. All of a sudden, his information is less relevant because it was just in the local paper that that’s what the arsonist or arsonists were doing is they would light fires with gasoline in the rear stairwell. So you can’t leak that information out. So you want to use the spotlight to get calls, to get hotline calls, to get calls to the police or fire or whoever they’re calling to get information but you can’t give up information that only the fire setter would know. In summary, you assure the people you’re doing everything you can. You can talk about, you know, we’re bringing in all these different experts, you know, we’re doing these different things. It’s still an ongoing investigation, but if you start releasing causes and origins and suspects and all that information, you know, that’s the job for the district attorney when they’ve made an arrest to announce. Or that’s the job of, you know, the fire chief to make when the time is set, but not for those investigators out there because things change and fire scenes are not always the way they seem. So that’s a long-winded answer to your question. I hope I answered it.

Q: You think there’s a serial arsonist at work -

PAUL ZIPPER: Right.

Q: - how do you handle the pressure to solve the case before another fire is set?

PAUL ZIPPER: When you have a serial arsonist, the implication is you know that - you’re conceding that you have a bunch of individual crimes, crime scenes, as opposed to accidental fires. So you can’t get discouraged by the fact you don’t identify the guy at the fire one, two, three, four, five, 15, 20, you just keep plugging along. Somewhere along the line, someone is going to pick up the phone and say, hey, this might sound really crazy, but I had this boyfriend, every time he came to my dorm in college - this is an actual case - you know, and stayed for the weekend, there’d be a fire in the dorm. And this came after a series of fire at a state college. The summer happens so we don’t have any more fires. The fall comes, this coed picks up the phone, calls us. We start looking at the sign in sheets and there’s only one name that’s signed into every single time there’s a fire. We bring the guy in, sit him down, he gave it up. So we didn’t have him for those fires when they were happening. We got him some months later. So the one thing I can tell you is the statute of limitations in Massachusetts is six years for an arson. So if you do your case, you may put it away, but somewhere along the line, you’ve got six years for someone to say, hey, look it, Johnny told me he did this fire. And that’s how you identify a suspect. It’s just working the pavement, you know, knocking on doors, making yourself available that people can call you if they have information and you just keep working the case. I mean, that’s - you can’t, you don’t solve every one, but you put yourself in the best situation to solve a case when you get the break. And what’s what you got to do is always do everything by the numbers and when you’ve exhausted all leads, you put the case in the unsolved category, if you will, and then you just hope you get a break down the road and you can now resurrect their case. You can just drop a suspect into that case because you’ve got everything else done. And that’s how I’ve learned to approach, you know, serial fire setters.

Q: As an investigator, what pressure do you put on yourself and how do you manage that pressure so that you can focus on your work?

PAUL ZIPPER: I have learned to embrace the pressure that you get from investigation. It’s very seductive when you have a high profile case. You’ve got a lot of attention. You know, it sort of gets those juices flowing. So I’ve learned to embrace the pressure. I feel it. It’s a heightened sense of sort of adrenaline going but - and I can tell you that I’ve seen a huge change in myself from when I had very little time on to today where I would, you know, I would fold to media pressure and I would think that people who were mayors and chiefs and other people knew more than I did about what was going on. And I soon found out that as a fire investigator, you’ve got some special talents that other people don’t have. And I know I solved cases, but I don’t know how to - I can’t manage cities and all that stuff, so I do know my job. I stick with that. I make sure I have the right resources available or I call the people who can give me the resources. I try to call the right people who can give me the bodies I need to get the job done. I am relentless at making up lists and making sure we get certain things accomplished that day. At the end of the day, you know, you get as much as you can done on your checklist, you realize that you have to close up shop at a certain time to get some sleep and then come back the next day. You really have to embrace the help that you get from the local fire, the local police, the auxiliary police, the ATF, you know, whatever - if the Feds can bring some assistance, the local interns, the Red Cross and you bring in all those folks, you know, my crime scene people and you come up with a game plan and say, let’s stick to it and you do everything that you can do within your power. You slow down, you don’t speed through stuff and somewhere along the line, someone’s going to say either, A), you got a suspect and you make a case or, B), you run out of things to do and you have to put it aside for the next one.

Q: I think often you got to work quickly, it seems like. How do you do that without sacrificing sound investigative work and a scientific method?

PAUL ZIPPER: Number one, if - most of the investigators that are probably going to listen this, if they’re in a small jurisdiction, or maybe they’re in a big jurisdiction, they’re working by themselves or one other person so they don’t have a ton of bodies to help them. So if you say work quickly, what you’re really meaning to me is you want to work more efficiently. And you’re going to need more people initially out there and you’ve going to have to get organized so we’re not - we don’t have four guys drinking coffee, waiting for the other guy to finish the interview. You’ve got someone who took charge, delegated and people that were delegated, went out and did their jobs. And if you have the right amount of people or the best amount of people you can get and a good organizational plan, you can get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. So it’s - you can never abandon the scientific method and if we did - and see, I want to throw this in because I think it’s important. When you’re on the stand and that’s what this is about. It’s not about the fact that you figured out the cause of the fire to me. It’s not about the fact that you arrested a guy because you can arrest pretty much anyone if you have probable cause, what it is is how many guilties you’re getting and in order to get someone found guilty in my state, it’s a 20 year felony in arson. If you kill someone in a fire, you’re talking about a murder now, so this individual who’s been accused of an arson, who gets appointed an attorney, who is no slouch and does their homework, is now purchasing NFPA921, is hiring someone who, you know, was in the field at one time and now is working on the defense side to really poke holes in your methodology. So you can’t ever sacrifice your investigative - sound, investigative principles, you can’t cut corners or instead of having a guilty, you’re going to have a not guilty and you’re going to have egg on your face. You’re going to be embarrassed. So you can never sacrifice those investigative principles that are found in 921 or the scientific method that’s part of 921, but what you need to be able to do is have the ability when the case happens or when this high profile case happens, we’re able to get resources to an area quickly, we’re able to get, you know, the appropriate resources and organize, follow a protocol, and that is the best way to efficiently work a major case, is bring in the right bodies and the right expertise and never abandon the scientific method because it’s - when you’re on the stand, they never ask you about what you did, it’s what you didn’t do that gets you. And the jury is sitting there listening to all the things that you didn’t do that they’re going to bang you up on and really challenge your credibility. So that’s the best answer I can give you with my experience on what to do.

Thank you very much, Dr. Zipper. Now, we turn to the news.

New research by NRMA Insurance has shed some light on why people leave a hot stove unattended. The research, which surveyed more than 500 households in New South Wales, Australia, found a diverse set of reasons why people walk away when cooking on the stovetop. The most common reason was to watch television, with nearly 65% of respondents admitting they did so. 50% said they left a hot stove to do some housework. Almost 50% said they go help their kids with homework. And more than 45% admitted to leaving the stove to surf the Internet. This information may be useful to fire investigators when conducting interviews. Witnesses may be reluctant to admit directly that they’ve left a hot stove unattended. Instead of asking directly if the witness walked away, investigators might find it fruitful to ask the witness if he or she engaged in any of those common activities during the time the cooking was going on.

Our second news item is about new sensors under development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. These new sensors will be able to measure velocity and temperature simultaneously, gathering more data from small-scale fire tests and paving the way for data-driven building evacuation systems. A video explaining the technology and its potential is available on the National Science Foundation’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/videosatnsf. We’ve provided a direct link to the sensors video on this podcast page.

Finally, let’s close with news from IAAI

The 73rd Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators was formally created in a ceremony held at the IAAI offices on September 30th. The Chapter is established in the Republic of Korea and two representatives of the new Chapter traveled to Washington DC to participate in the ceremony. Also in attendance were the Officers and Executive Director of IAAI. As a part of the occasion the IAAI officers and the Korean guests were welcomed to the headquarters of the ATF and were given a tour of the ATF Laboratory.

A.J. Wilson, the current Executive Director of IAAI, has announced his retirement. IAAI thanks him for his service to the organization and wishes him well. A job announcement and application instructions for the Executive Director position will be posted on firearson.com. Since all information regarding this career opportunity will be available on the web site, IAAI asks that you refrain from calling the office with inquiries.

A reminder that the IAAI offices have moved. Their new address is 2111 Baldwin Avenue, Crofton, Maryland 21114.

That concludes this CFITrainer.Net podcast. We’ll see you again next month.

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May 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Jason McPherson from MSD Engineering to talk about some of these new technology tools.
April 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Dave Perry, a lawyer in Colorado discussing what fire chiefs, fire investigators, and the legal system are seeing in a state with legalized cannabis in regard to fire cause involving marijuana.
February 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Feb '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Mike Schlatman and Steve Carman who are both successful fire investigators and now business owners who have transitioned from the public to the private sector.

2014

December 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews Steve Avato from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explaining the process of elimination and how it is a critical part of the scientific method.
June 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews the 2014 Investigator of the Year.
April 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews with Don Robinson, Special Agent in Charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Currently stationed at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research, located at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
January 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast takes a look inside the process of revising NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033.

2013

October 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast focuses on the fire research work of Underwriters’ Laboratories, better known as UL.
February 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we have an interview with George Codding who returned from a recent trip to Saipan and gives us a closer look at the international activities of the International Association of Arson Investigators

2012

Mid Year 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Mid Year '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast features a mid-year update on the IAAI’s new initiatives and ways for you to get more involved with the organization.
September 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an in-depth look at the recent live-burn fire experiments exercise conducted on Governor’s Island, New York by the New York City Fire Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratory, and the Trust for Governor’s Island.
August 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This is a special edition of the CFITrainer.Net podcast previewing the ITC 2013. There’s a new name for the Annual Training Conference from the IAAI now called the International Training conference.
April 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Chief Ernest Mitchell, Jr., the US Fire Administrator. Also we will discuss the upcoming ATC, Annual Training Conference, from the IAAI about to happen in Dover, Delaware.
March 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with ATF Special Agent Billy Malagassi out of the Tulsa, OK Field Office about investigating fires in clandestine drug labs. We also report on NIST’s findings in the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire and IAAI’s Evidence Collection Practicum.

2011

December 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features one of the presenters from this year’s IAAI ATC and see how a single photo broke the Provo Tabernacle fire case.
October 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Deborah Nietch, the new Executive Director of IAAI.
July 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Tom Fee discussing details of investigating wildland fires.
June 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features a lot of exciting things that are happening at CFITrainer.Net
May 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month highlights the IAAI ATC in Las Vegas and the third installment in the "It Could Happen to You" series.
ATC 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - This podcast discusses the upcoming IAAI Annual Training Conference and National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast announces the release of the program, The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation, which teaches first responders how to make critical observations and take important scene preservation actions at a fire scene.
March 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features some of the instructors from the upcoming 2011 Annual Training Conference, to provide a preview of the courses they will be presenting.
February 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features an update on fire grants and an interview with Steve Austin
January 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the release of the new edition of Fire Investigator: Principles and Practice to NFPA 921 and 1033, new flammability requirements from UL for pre-lit artificial Christmas trees and a growing fire problem in Dubai with factories turned into worker dormitories.

2010

December 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on home candle fires, lightning punctures in gas piping, and respiratory diseases in the fire services.
November 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features research findings for structural stability in engineered lumber by UL, the ban on antifreeze in residential sprinkler systems, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation of Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tanks.
September 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features how to use the ATF’s Bomb Arson Tracking System, IAAI Foundation grants, electrical fires and indoor marijuana cultivation.
August 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on social media as a fire investigation tool, a potential problem with modular home glued ceilings and research from Underwriters Laboratories on the effects of ventilation on structure fires.
July 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is a roundtable on some of the latest research and technical activities that impact fire investigation, featuring Daniel Madrzykowski (moderator), Steven Kerber, and Dr. Fred Mowrer.
June 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast discusses career advancement, budget cuts and their impact on fire investigation, and the 2010-2016 ATF Strategic Plan.
ATC 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Follow-up and Interviews from Orlando. Learn about the conference, hear what attendees had to say.
May 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The second in our safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our Long-Term Exposure roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
April 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The first of our two-part safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
March 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features a conversation about legislative affairs affecting the fire service with Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Research Institute.
February 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features our interview with a commercial kitchen’s fire expert about what you need to know when you work a commercial kitchen fire.
January 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features a look at preliminary research on corrosion caused by Chinese drywall, a new database focused on fires in historic buildings, a warning on blown-in insulation, and the launch of the new firearson.com web site.

2009

December 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features cooking fires, highlights of the International Code Council’s Annual Meeting on code requirements, including requiring residential sprinkler systems, and an easy way to keep up with recalls from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
November 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features chimney fires, including recent news on surgical flash fires, a proposed national arsonist registry, lightning research and an innovation in personal protective equipment.
October 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is devoted to Fire Prevention Week.
September 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the relationship between climate conditions and fire risk, new research on formulating fireproof walls and the latest in IAAI news.
August 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month takes a look at the dangerous combination of summer heat and oily rags, the rise in vacant home fires, and preview research underway on Australia’s devastating "Black Saturday" brush fires.
July 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month features a look at outdoor grill fires, a fatal fire at a homeless camp in Southern NJ, new NIST research on human behavior during building fires, and IAAI news.
June 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features live reports from the 2009 IAAI Annual Training Conference held in May.
May 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast is dedicated to National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the NFPA 921 chapter on marine fire investigations and the myth and reality of static electricity as a source of ignition.
March 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month focuses on the rise of the hybrid vehicle and what its unique engineering means for the investigation of vehicle fires, the rash of devastating arson fires in Coatesville, Pennsylvania from December 2008 to February 2009, and news from IAAI.
January 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on the deepening financial crisis in the US and arson for profit fires, how going green may pose a fire hazard and see how rope lighting may be a source of ignition, and IAAI’s Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony course.

2008

December 2008 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '08 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features Christmas tree fires, changes to critical fire investigation publications, the weak economy’s impact on home fires, wind’s effect on structure fires, and ATC 2009.

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