The manner in which an arsonist sets his fires, including location(s) chosen, the technique of ignition, configuration of trailers or other devices to speed fire spread, type or accelerant used (or lack thereof), the way accelerant is applied, and behaviors surrounding the fire setting (property removal, time, geography, etc.). The modus operandi is often called the “signature,” meaning that it is unique to that arsonist. Also known as “m.o.” or method of operation. Comparing the modus operandi of how different fires were set can identify whether multiple fires are the work of the same arsonist.
Icove, DJ, Wherry, VB and Schroeder, JD. Combating Arson-for-Profit. Second Edition. Battelle Press. 1998.