Investigating Natural Gas Systems
Approximate reading time: 0.5 Hours
Approximate online time: 0.5 Hours
Natural gas is a common fuel gas used in residential,
commercial and industrial type applications. Due to properties of the fuel,
these systems may be the cause of a fire or may result in additional damage to
a structure when exposed to fire. Fuel gas systems can influence the way a building burns in the
following ways: as an initial fuel source, as an initial ignition source, as
both fuel and ignition sources, and as factors influencing fire spread. These
influences can complicate the investigative process. The fire investigator
should have a basic understanding of the potential role of natural gas as a
fuel source, an ignition source, and a factor in fire spread. The fire
investigator should also know the tests that may be required as part of the
fire investigation when natural gas piping or equipment is involved. This
module presents the role natural gas can play in fire ignition, fuel load, and
spread; the elements of investigating a fire in a residence where natural gas
is present; and the potential role the gas utility or the municipality can play
an investigation. The module also discusses the documentation of the natural
gas system and the types of tests that may be required as part of the fire
investigation when natural gas piping or equipment is involved.
Prior to taking this module, CFITrainer.Net suggests the investigator possess a basic, working knowledge of residential natural gas systems.The module "Residential Natural Gas Systems" may be a component of developing this knowledge.
The natural gas modules presented on CFITrainer.Net are not intended as a comprehensive education on the topic of natural gas and/or examination of natural gas systems at a fire scene.The procedures discussed in these CFITrainer.Net natural gas programs are "best practices" based on applicable NFPA Standards and Guides; jurisdictional variations may occur.Although many concepts are presented in the modules, these concepts are a basic introduction only and additional information, training, and education may be needed to fully understand these topics and competently evaluate a natural gas system.Therefore, completion of the natural gas modules available on CFITrainer.Net does not qualify you to examine the natural gas system at a fire scene.