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NFPA 906: Guide for Fire Incident Field Notes


Scope. The scope of this guide is to guide investigators in collecting and recording preliminary information needed for the preparation of a formal incident report.

Purpose. This guide explains a series of suggested forms that can be used during a fire investigation to record field notes. The forms serve as a reminder of the type of information that may be helpful in understanding the fire.

Application. The guidelines for using these forms are only suggestions, as each particular agency should utilize the forms in the way that best suits their needs. The forms are simple to complete, with large areas for comments that can be developed as the investigation continues. The forms shown in this guide are designed to collect descriptive observations rather than definitive conclusions. Not all forms will be used at all incidents. However, several forms could be used on any specific fire, depending on the magnitude of the investigation or the type of incident.

This guide contains instructions for the completion of the fire incident field note forms. The forms allow the person conducting the investigation to collect the information in a consistent manner so it can then be studied to reach a conclusion regarding a particular incident. The forms are designed to be handwritten. The data is to be utilized to complete the final investigative report. The case supervision form should be used to keep a track of the progress of the investigation.

Preparation of Reports. These forms and the information recorded on them are not designed to constitute the incident report. They provide data helpful in reaching conclusions as to what happened so the incident report or the investigation report can be prepared. If an incident report has already been filed, part of the process of using this data should be to verify the original incident report and update that report as necessary so the most accurate information is contained in the incident report and any data bases that contain that incident information.

Forms. There are 12 forms described in this guide. These forms and their applications are:

906-0 Case Supervision--Used on all investigations to track the progress of the investigation.

906-1 All Fires--Used on all fire investigations to collect identification and contact information.

906-2 Structure Fires--Used when the fire involves a structure. There are three pages to this form.

906-3 Motor Vehicles--Used when the fire involves any type of motor vehicle.

906-4 Wildland Fires--Used when the fire involves grass, brush, and wildland areas.

906-5 Casualties--Used to collect information on people injured or killed in the incident.

906-6 Witness Statement--Use one sheet per witness to identify the witness and record the statement.

906-7 Evidence--Used to record recovered evidence and where it is removed to.

906-8 Photographs--Used to log description of all photographs taken.

906-9 Sketches--Used to sketch the scene or specific locations within the scene.

906-10 Insurance Information--Used to record information on insurance coverage, adjustment, and loss.

906-11 Records/Documents--Used to record information on incident, property, and business or personal records that are available.

For more information, contact:
The NFPA Library at (617) 984-7445 or e-mail

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