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Beering, Peter S. Messes, Mustard, & Masterpieces. The Hooser Hot Spots. Fall, 1991. pp. 12-16.

Abstract: This article discusses advances in computer technology that benefit the fire investigation field. Laptop computers, word processing programs, spreadsheets, CAD and drawing systems, scanning systems, databases, and the new methods of sending information have all contributed to the field of fire investigation.

Laptop computers are now light enough to travel to the fire scene, allowing an investigator to conveniently store all notes and comments. These notes and comments can now be easily edited and rearranged by the investigator at a later time. Many word processing programs allow an investigator to automate routine task, such as preparing reports. Spreadsheets allow investigators to organize their information in a clear, simple manner, which makes analyzing it easier and more accurate.

Drawing systems allow investigators to produce accurate scene diagrams. CAD systems can recreate the incident and offer information to those investigating it. This information often comes in useful at trial, when it is presented to a jury. Scanning allows large amounts of information to be stored. Large documents can be stored and accessed quickly and they will take a fraction of the space other methods of storage might use.

Databases offer a way to collect, organize, and manage different types of information. Investigators can now easily access information in minutes that used to take days to find. Communication has also greatly improved fire investigations. Fax machines and e-mail provide the instant transferal of information. This allows fire investigators more time to analyze information, instead of searching for the facts.

 
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