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NFPA 921: Guide to Fire and Explosion Investigations

Abstract: This document is designed to assist individuals who are charged with the responsibility of investigating and analyzing fire and explosion incidents and rendering opinions as to the origin, cause, responsibility, or prevention of such incidents.

The purpose of this document is to establish guidelines and a recommended practice for the safe and systematic investigation or analysis of fire and explosion incidents. Fire investigation or analysis and the accurate listing of causes is fundamental to the protection of lives and property from the threat of hostile fire or explosions. It is through an efficient and accurate determination of the cause and responsibility that future fire incidents can be avoided.

Proper fire origin and cause determination are also essential for the meaningful compilation of fire statistics. Accurate statistics form part of the basis of fire prevention codes, standards, and training. This document is designed to produce a systematic, working framework or outline by which effective fire investigation and origin and cause analysis can be accomplished.

As every fire and explosion incident is in some way different and unique from any other, this document is not designed to encompass all the necessary components of a complete investigation or analysis of any one case. In addition, it is recognized that time and resource limitations or existing policies may limit the degree to which the recommendations in this document will be applied in a given investigation. This document has been developed as a model for the advancement of fire investigation technology.

For more information, contact:
The NFPA Library at (617) 984-7445 or e-mail library@nfpa.org

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