Forensic Science Committee. Position Paper on Canine Use. Fire and Arson
Investigator. September, 1994.
Abstract: This article is from the International Association of
Arson Investigators and it is a summary of their position on the use of
canines. The IAAI Forensic Science Committee endorses the use of accelerant
detection canines as a valuable tool for fire investigators. The committee
verifies that some testing indicates a canine is more sensitive to ignitable
liquids than a laboratory. However, the committee upholds that a canine
is not infallible and samples of canine alerts should be sent to the lab.
The committee also takes the position that the scope of a canine's sensitivity
is not fully understood and a canine's findings that are unconfirmed by
laboratory testing should be considered inconclusive. The committee affirms
that allowing unconfirmed alerts to be used as evidence is a misuse of the
canine as a tool. A canine's alert to the presence of an ignitable liquid
should not serve as the basis for an arson determination and should only
be used as one factor in a fire investigation.
For more information, contact:
International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
300 Broadway Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63102-2808