Yeah, We Do That! Fire Origin & Cause Investigations

Photo by The Longmont Times Call

Photo by The Longmont Times Call

This week a couple in Longmont, CO suffered the complete loss of a structure on their property that has housed their machinist business for the last 21 years. A fire that broke out in the structure in the early morning hours quickly burned out of control and resulted in over a million dollars in damage. In these types of tragic losses people are looking for answers. From the property owner, to the insurance agent, to the public service entities involved.

Once the fire has been extinguished and the scene secured, the investigation begins. AEI’s team of certified investigators (CFI and CFEI) and licensed engineers employ scientific methods to determine the origin and cause (O&C) of residential, commercial, industrial, motor vehicle, agricultural, and incendiary fires and explosions. They have investigated thousands of fires and explosions across the country ranging from small residential to large industrial losses of up to one-hundred million dollars. AEI fire investigators and engineers not only do the O&C investigation, but can provide services across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including mechanical, electrical/electronics, chemical, structural, wood science, civil, and fire suppression and protection.

Origin and Cause Determination – types of work include:

• Arson (incendiary)
• Flammable gases and liquids
• Spontaneous combustion
• Reactive chemicals
• Dust and grain elevators
• Vehicle fires
• Lightning damage
• Electrical fires
• Oxygen enriched atmospheres
• Boilers/pressure vessels
• Process equipment
• Fireworks/pyrotechnics
• Gas system components
• Propane cylinders and gas grills
• Gas Sampling
• Odorant and Odorization Analysis
• Codes and Standards Compliance
• Industry custom and practice and standard of care

These investigations are conducted in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Testing That May Be Necessary

• Fire and flammability testing
• Examination and testing of gas systems, components and appliances
• Examination and testing of electrical systems, components and appliances
• Fire modeling
• Evaluation and testing of fire suppression systems and components
• Building material flame-spread rating evaluation
• X-ray capabilities for non-destructive examinations of artifacts

Damage and Contribution Factors Assessment

Structural and fire suppression systems experts provide damage assessment and evaluate factors contributing to fire spread. Typical tasks include:
• Accessiblity and temporary shoring recommendations
• Scope of damage and repair recommendations
• Fire-suppression systems evaluation
• Building material flame-spread rating evaluation
• Firewall and smoke control systems evaluation

When tragedy strikes, the ability to get answers about why and how things happened is critical. You want to know that the people you rely on for those answers are highly-qualified, meticulous, integrity driven experts who care deeply about getting the right Intel to solve the problem.                                                     The Right Intel Solves The Problem

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