Collection of Arson Evidence and Analysis of Flammable Residue

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Arson can be defined as the crime of setting structures and buildings on fire and the motive is seen as deliberate and malicious. Arson can be done in various forms and can be committed in towns, cities, rural areas and even wild land. It is important to note that arson is different from other causes of fire such as spontaneous combustion, lightning and wildfires in that arson is committed by a human being.


The fire itself is the first step in the collection and investigation of arson evidence. Experts have identified three factors that must be present in any arson case and these factors are known as the triangle of fire. These factors include oxygen, the source of fuel and the heat. In any case of arson, the oxygen concentration must exceed sixteen percent while the fuel can be any flammable material which include petrol, gas and other flammable materials. To this effect, the heat factor is considered to be any source of heat that can match the temperature of ignition of the fuel which will be aided by oxygen concentration. In an arson case, the arsonist must have tampered with one of the three factors that have been identified as the fundamental causes of a fire (NFPA 921, 2004).
An arsonist will make use of accelerants like alcohol, gasoline or kerosene to increase the fuel load to enhance higher chances of the fire developing. The arsonist may also increase the concentration of the oxygen and this can be achieved by various means like opening the windows of the structure that will ensure that the oxygen concentration will be higher in the structure. ...
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