Critical Evaluation and Testing of Commonly Reported Accidental Causes

Credit Hours:  3
Approximate reading time: 0.5 Hours
Approximate online time: 0.5 Hours

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Program Abstract

A cigarette is found in the area of origin. A space heater sits close to a recliner. A severely burned pot is perched atop the cooking surface in a fire-damaged kitchen. These situations may indicate to the company officer: THIS IS THE FIRE CAUSE. But, is that truly the case? The company officer or investigator may prematurely point to one of these accidental causes. How can one improve accuracy in cause determination, be systematic and deliberate in one's investigative methodology, and document the process of making a cause determination that involves one of these 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: An Overview of the U.S. Fire Problem" (cooking equipment, heating equipment, electrical distribution and lighting, and smoking materials)1 to help the company officer and fire investigator look more critically at these "go to" cause determinations.


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