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Ethical issues relating to fire investigation - Essay Example

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Unfortunately, this can usually imperil important physical evidence (Lentini 2006). It is hence vital that emergency services members are knowledgeable of, and employ, methods which are not merely effective, but deter unethical damage to the people, surroundings, and structure.
This essay will discuss the ethics of fire and explosion investigation with regard to security of the scene, health and safety concerns, scene recording, and some other methods of forensic investigation.
Once a scene has been secured, the investigation of proofs of cause can begin (Daeid 2004). This can range from a fairly easy undertaking where the damage or the larger scene is minimal, to the most difficult challenge requiring separating apparatus, larger numbers of investigators, examining grids, etc (Daeid 2004). In an explosion incident, the secured area should consist of both the main recovery area and the defence zone (Zonderman 1999). The main recovery area will extend to the point of the outermost projected point or portion of fire damage, whilst the defence zone should go beyond this expanse by one half, so as to facilitate preliminary underestimation and to restrain the possibility of removal of, or damage to, physical evidence (Horswell 2004).
In a number of cases, specifically where there are directional features to the explosion, the secured zone may not be circular (Pepper 2005). Furthermore, it may be necessary in several situations, to restrict the size of the buffer area or to lessen it at certain points (Horswell 2004). For instance, this may be reasonable if a slight decrease in the buffer area would facilitate the operation of a railway line or where the impacts of the fire have been somewhat limited in a structure. In the instances of fires, the limits to the scene are fairly simpler to delineate (Horswell 2004). For fires in buildings, the whole structure should be protected because proofs of minor fires or deactivated ‘time-delay ignition ...Show more


But let us be careful not to speak as if our little plummets had sounded the depth of the universe (Prins 1973, 15).
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