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Fire Debris & Explosives Subcommittee

Members of the OSAC Fire Debris & Explosives Subcommittee
Members of the OSAC Fire Debris & Explosives Subcommittee (July 2019)

The Fire Debris & Explosives Subcommittee focuses on standards and guidelines related to the scientific examination and analysis of materials associated with fire and explosion investigations.

Officers | Members | OSAC Registry Approved Documents | Documents in Process | Position Statement on E1618-14 | Research & Development Needs | Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents | Presentations

Officers

Brenda Christy, Subcommittee Chair, Virginia Department of Forensic Science

Kim Kunkler, Subcommittee Vice Chair, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Laboratory

Edward Sisco, Subcommittee Executive Secretary, U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology

Members

Andrew Armstrong, Ph.D., Armstrong Forensic Laboratory

Michelle Evans, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Douglas Byron, F-ABC, Forensic & Scientific Testing, Inc.

John Chester, Indiana State Police Laboratory

Michelle Clarke, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 

Christina Henry, Santa Clara County Crime Laboratory (California)

Steven L. Hoenig, American University

Kimberly Kunkler, U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Nancy A. Love, Allegheny County Medical Examiner Forensic Laboratory

Christine M. Marsh, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Raleigh Parrott, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Christa Rajendram, Ohio State Fire Marshal

William Randle, Missouri State Highway Patrol

Michael Sigman, Ph.D., University of Central Florida

Kevin D. Streeter, Michigan State Police

Larry Tang, George Mason University and NIST

Lisa Windsor, Tuscon Police Department Crime Laboratory

OSAC Registry Approved Documents

  • None currently.

Documents in Process

Under Development:

  • Standard Guide for the Forensic Examination and Identification of Post-Blast Explosives.
  • Standard Guide for the Analysis of Ignitable Liquids by Gas Chromatography Electron Ionization Mass Spectrometry.
  • Standard Practice for a Forensic Explosives Analysis Training Program.
  • Standard Practice for a Forensic Fire Debris Analysis Training Program.
  • Standard Practice for Reporting Results and Opinions of Explosive Analysis.
  • Standard Practice for Reporting Results and Opinions of Fire Debris Analysis.
  • QA/QC for Fire Debris Laboratories.
  • Standard Test Method for the Interpretation/Classification of Gas Chromatography Electron Ionization Mass Spectrometry Data for the Identification of Ignitable Liquids 

Work Product Sent to SDO:

  • ASTM WK56043 Standard Terminology Related to the Examination of Fire Debris.
  • ASTM WK56998 Standard Terminology Related to the Examination of Explosives.
  • ASTM WK64631 Standard Guide for A Systematic Approach to the Analysis and Identification of Ignitable Liquids.
  • ASTM WK67862 Standard Practice for the Forensic Examination and Identification of Intact Explosives.

SDO Published:

  • ASTM E1412-16 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Active Charcoal.
  • ASTM E1413-19 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Dynamic Headspace Concentration.
  • ASTM E3189-19 Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Static Headspace Concentration onto an Adsorbent Tube.

Entered OSAC Registry Approval Process:

  • None currently.

Position Statement on E1618-14

Fire Debris and Explosives Analysis Subcommittee Position Statement on E1618-14

Research & Development Needs

Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents

The Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) has provided the opportunity for OSAC Subcommittees to identify baseline documents and reference materials that best reflect the current state of the practice within their respective disciplines. 

These documents contain practical information regarding these disciplines that can help forensic scientists, judges, lawyers, researchers, other interested parties and the general public, to better understand the nature, scope, and foundations of the individual disciplines as they are currently practiced.

It is important to note that the identification of these documents in this venue does not represent an endorsement by OSAC or NIST.  Only documents that are posted on the OSAC Registry constitute OSAC endorsement. All copyrights for these documents are reserved by their owners. Subcommittee position statements or responses to data collections by the subcommittee represent the consensus opinion of the subcommittee, not necessarily the position of the entire OSAC organization or NIST.

Analysis of Fire Debris Reference List 16JAN2018

Baseline Documents:

ASTM E1386 Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Solvent Extraction

ASTM E1388 Practice for Sampling of Headspace Vapors from Fire Debris Samples

ASTM E1412 Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Activated Charcoal

ASTM E1413 Practice for Separation and Concentration of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Dynamic Headspace Concentration

ASTM E1618 Standard Test Method for Ignitable Liquid Residues in Extracts from Fire Debris Samples by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

ASTM E2997 Standard Test Method for Analysis of Biodiesel Products by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

ASTM E2998 Standard Practice for Characterization and Classification of Smokeless Powder

ASTM E2881 Standard Test Method for Extraction and Derivatization of Vegetable Oils and Fats from Fire Debris and Liquid Samples with Analysis by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

ASTM E2451 Standard Practice for Preserving Ignitable Liquids and Ignitable Liquid Residue Extracts from Fire Debris Samples

Historical References:

TWGFEX/DOJ/NIJ: A Guide for Explosion and Bombing Scene Investigation

TWGFEX: Guide for the Forensic Identification of Intact Explosives

TWGFEX: Quality Assurance (QA) Guide for the Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquids

TWGFEX: Recommended Guidelines for Forensic Identification of Post-Blast Explosive Residues

TWGFEX: Standard Practice for Archiving Ignitable Liquid Residues in Extracts from Fire Debris Samples and Questioned Liquid Samples Submitted for Ignitable Liquid Analysis

Resources:

TWGFEX: Contamination & Limitations Bibliography

TWGFEX: Explosive Analyst Job Description

TWGFEX: Explosive Analyst Training

TWGFEX: Explosives Bibliography 1988 – 1998

TWGFEX: Fire Debris Training
Module 1
Module 2
Module 3
Module 4
Module 5
Module 6
Module 7
Module 8
Module 9
Module 10
Module 11
Module 12
Module 13
Module 14
Module 15
Module 16
Module 17

TWGFEX: Glossary of Terms

TWGFEX: Proficiency Testing in ILR Analysis

TWGFEX: Standard Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Analysis of Fire-Related Samples for Ignitable Liquids and their Residues

TWGFEX: Suggested Guide for Explosive Analysis Training

TWGFEX Bibliography

TWGFEX/NIJ: 2007-2008 National Needs Assessment for the Near and Long Term Future of Fire Debris and Explosives Analysis and Investigation

ASTM E355 Standard Procedure for Gas Chromatography Terms and Relationships

ASTM E620 Standard Practice for Reporting Opinions of Scientific or Technical Experts

ASTM E1492 Standard Practice for Receiving, Documenting, Storing, and Retrieving Evidence in a Forensic Science Laboratory

ASTM E1510 Standard Practice for Installing Fused Silica Open Tubular Capillary Columns in Gas Chromatographs

ASTM E1459 Standard Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation

ASTM E2154 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME)

Presentations

  • None at this time.

In general, the development of standards and guidelines is transitioning from the Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) to the OSAC. Some SWGs will continue to operate to provide other resources within their discipline. The existing SWG documents will remain in effect until updated documents are disseminated by the OSAC or the SWG. SWGDAM will retain the responsibility for updating the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards.

– Forensic Science Standards Board: March 2015

Created June 27, 2014, Updated December 10, 2019