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Forensic Engineering Investigation

The word “forensic” is derived from the Latin word forensis, which means “in open court” or “public.” Forensic Engineering is defined as the “application of engineering principles to the investigation of failures or other performance problems.” In other words, forensic engineering is using professional engineering services to determine the root of accidents like fires and structural weaknesses. “Forensics” has become synonymous with forensic science. Casalinova Investigations Inc. has certified investigators that specialize in many of the subcategories of forensic engineering.

Forensic Engineering Careers

Popular television shows like “CSI,” “SVU,” and “Criminal Minds” have recently brought a lot more attention to forensics and future jobs for those interested in forensic science and engineering. As a whole, forensics is a growing field. These careers are projected to increase by 31% from 2010-2020.

Forensic engineers are often confused with forensic scientists, who collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes. In a way, the two careers are very similar. However, a forensic engineer is more closely aligned with fire investigation. These investigators work for forensic companies that specialize in investigations like electrical failure analysis and fire origin and cause. These careers require a strong attention to detail and the ability to think critically. Advanced communication skills and writing are both important to the field as well.

Electrical Fire Investigation

Did you know that electrical fires account for nearly 51,000 fires each year? Electrical Fire Analysis is a large part of forensic engineering. Casalinova has certified professionals to investigate the aftermath of these horrific blazes caused by everyday items like hair dryers, kitchen appliances, or damaged cords from light fixtures.  These 51,000 electrical fires are responsible for more than 400 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. Electrical distribution and lighting & power transfer were the highest cause of electrical fires from 2010-2014. In order to investigate these fires properly, you’ll want to work with a trusted and experienced forensic engineering company like Casalinova.

When an electrical system fails, there can be massive impacts on many people. Among those who are impacted are people and companies that depend on the electrical system for services like phone, cable and internet. Aside from the business standpoint of electrical fires, there are also families and children who can be severely impacted by these disasters. Families may lose their homes, a loved one and even beloved pets. The distress for families doesn’t stop there. If they are fortunate to make it out of the fire unharmed, they are then faced with the task of finding food water and shelter. These are just some of the reasons that forensic companies like Casalinova Investigations Inc. take their work so seriously.

There are many things to determine when looking at electrical fires. For example, if the electrical situation is not energized, it cannot be heat or electrical factors caused the fire. If appliances are unplugged, they cannot be the source of a fire, and if the suspected circuit was off prior to the fire, it didn’t cause the fire either. These are just some of the potential situations to address when investigating an electrical fire.

Fire Origin and Cause Investigation

Fire origin and cause investigation is one of the more common branches of forensic engineering. There are roughly 1,300,000 fires a year, and each one must be identified as accidental or not. When a fire is determined deliberate, it is classified as arson. After being identified as arson, certain steps must then be taken to investigate suspects and find a culprit. The investigators that specialize in origin and cause are responsible for determining if a fire was accidental or deliberate.

With over two decades of experience, the certified fire investigators at Casalinova Investigations Inc. have knowledge to assist you in determining the origin and cause of your fire. They first do an examination to create a hypothesis of what happened and how it happened. They then do research and begin to investigate the situation. These investigators are so skilled that they can look at what seems to be nothing more than charred remains of buildings and identify the root of the disaster. Unfortunately, a fire investigation can turn into a fatal fire investigation if death is assumed to have happened. NFPA 921: The Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations defines “cause” as: “the circumstances, conditions or agencies that bring together a fuel, ignition source, and oxidizer (such as air or oxygen) resulting in a fire or combustion explosion”. They define “origin” as “point of origin or area of origin, the exact physical location where a heat source and a fuel come in contact with each other and a fire begins.” You can trust the certified investigators at Casalinova Investigations Inc. to help you with your investigation.  They work tirelessly to find the root and the cause of each fire. Origin and cause investigations are a science, and we’re here to help you.

Associations

Casalinova Investigations Inc. is proud to be associated with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).  These are all organizations that are devoted to spreading awareness about fire safety through education and training.

The National Fire Protection Association was established in 1896 in an attempt to eliminate death, injury and other losses due to fires. NFPA offers current events and news regarding fires and offers reputable research on fire statistics and information. The National Fire Protection Association is strictly nonprofit and is dedicated to educating others about fire preventatives and other information regarding fires.

The National Association of Fire Investigators is an organization that is committed to educating fire investigation workers and professionals across the world. NAFI is a non-profit organization that was established in 1961. The founders of this organization were professionals in the field who recognized the need for furthering the education of professionals like themselves. NAFI has now created a comprehensive library of training information and offers an abundance of fire investigation training certifications and other useful resources.

The International Association of Arson Investigators is also a non profit organization with a mission of supporting fire investigation professionals through the use of education, certification and other professional development networking plans. In order to be certified by IAAI, an investigator must earn a 70% or higher on a comprehensive test that is based on all the job performance requirements in the NFPA 1033: Standard Professional Qualifications of Fire Investigator.

Locations

Our company was originally founded in Akron, but we have continued to expand nationwide into one of the nation’s leading forensic engineering firms. With additional locations all across the United States, you can be sure wherever there is a fire investigation, Casalinova will be there to help.

With Ohio office locations in Cleveland and Akron as well as investigators based from Tennessee all the way to Florida, our certified investigators are here to help you. We encourage each of our professionals to continue their training and education through associations like NFPA, NAFI and IAAI. With over two decades of experience, Casalinova is qualified to help you with any of your forensic engineering investigations. Contact Casalinova today for help with your next assignment.

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