Fire and Arson Photography. Eastman Kodak Company, 1977.
Abstract: The Fire Department can benefit from the use of photography
in many ways. Photographs can contribute to the success and safety of Firemen
by documenting previous fires, recording current hazards, and demonstrating
new fire-fighting techniques. The Fire Department often times will plan
ahead for possible fires or disasters. Photographing trouble areas greatly
assists firemen by recording information that can be useful before and after
a fire. Photographs can help determine access routes to certain areas as
well as adequate water resources.
Photographs are an especially helpful tool for investigators because
they can be examined for clues of the fire cause and area of origin. Eyewitness
accounts of fires are often inaccurate, forcing investigators to rely on
pictures. The first responsibility of a firefighter is to save lives and
extinguish the fire. Initially, the firefighter is not concerned with what
caused the fire.
Rather than concerning all of the responding firemen with preserving
evidence, one fireman should be assigned to take all of the photographs.
For the best results, photographs should be taken immediately upon arrival
and at intervals thereafter. The assigned photographer should take a complete
survey of the fire scene from every angle. He should record as much of the
structure as possible. The photographer should attempt to document the presence
of steam, the color and density of smoke, and the color and size of flames.
The article provides a list of combustibles with their corresponding smoke
and flame colors.
The article also provides solutions to problems that photographers might
encounter while documenting a fire scene. Suggestions for preventing underexposure,
using a camera under adverse conditions, and selecting the proper lens are
included. The article also explains other photography principles such as
exposure, flash and film selection.