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Fire & Explosion Investigation Subcommittee

Members of the OSAC Fire & Investigation Subcommittee
Members of the OSAC Fire & Investigation Subcommittee (July 2019)

The Fire & Explosion Investigation Subcommittee focuses on standards and guidelines related to the investigation, analyses and interpretation of crime scenes where arson or use of explosives is suspected.

Officers | Members | OSAC Registry Approved Documents | Documents in ProcessResearch & Development Needs | Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents | Presentations

Officers

Craig Beyler, Ph.D., Subcommittee Chair, Jensen Hughes

Philip Crombie, Jr., Subcommittee Vice Chair, Travelers Insurance

Gregory Gorbett, Ph.D., Subcommittee Executive Secretary, Eastern Kentucky University

Members

Chris Connealy, Williamson County Emergency Services, TX

Mark Goodson, Goodson Engineering

Jamie Lord, Reax Engineering, Inc.

Melvin "Dixon" Robin, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

David T. Sheppard, Ph.D., ATF Fire Laboratory

George Wendt, Travelers Investigative Services

Chad Wissinger, Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal Forensic Laboratory

OSAC Registry Approved Documents

OSAC Registry Ribbon

NFPA 921:2017 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (effective November 1, 2017).

NFPA 1033:2014 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator (effective December 22, 2016).

 

Documents in Process

Under Development: 

  • Template quality manual for fire investigation units.

Work Product Sent to SDO: 

SDO Published: 

Entered OSAC Registry Approval Process:

  • None currently.

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 Registries 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.

  • Strategic Plan for Fire and Explosion Investigation: Strengthening Fire and Explosion Investigation in the United States: A Path Forward (under development).

ASTM (https://astm.org):

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

ASTM E678, Standard Practice for Evaluation of Scientific and Technical Data 

ASTM E860, Standard Practice for Examining and Preparing Items that Are or May Become Involved in Criminal or Civil Litigation

ASTM E1020, Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents that May Involve Criminal or Civil Litigation

ASTM E1188, Standard Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information and Physical Items by a technical Investigator

ASTM E1355, Standard Guide for Evaluating the Predictive Capability of Deterministic Fire Models

ASTM E1459, Standard Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation

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

ASTM 1591, Standard Guide for Obtaining Data for Fire Growth Models

Websites:

CFItrainer.net (https://www.cfitrainer.net/)

IAAI (https://www.firearson.com/)

NAFI (https://www.nafi.org)

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (https://ulfirefightersafety.org/)

Presentations

  • None currently.

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