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Malcolm, John D. Documenting the Electrical System. International Association of Arson Investigators. September, 1985.

Abstract: This article provides an in-depth procedure firefighters and investigators can follow to examine the electrical systems of a fire scene. The firefighter may be the only person to see the fire scene intact, before it rekindles or is leveled for safety purposes. A firefighter's documentation of the fire scene should include an evaluation of the electrical systems. The electrical systems can be examined without electricity and engineering expertise. Simple observations will indicate whether experts need to be called or not. It is important to remember that a malfunction in one part of the electrical system could cause a fire in another area. The author strongly urges firefighters to use a 35mm camera to document the scene. Pictures record the scene and help firefighters and investigators remember details. A firefighter or investigator should always operate under the assumption that electrical wires are "alive." Even if the power has been shut off, do not attempt to disassemble any part of the electrical system. The procedure this article outlines does not require any touching or dismantling of the electrical system.

For more information, contact:
International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
12770 Boenker Rd
St. Louis, MO 63044
Phone: (314) 739-IAAI (4224)
Fax: (314) 739-4219

 
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