There are many different types of fires and it can be quite difficult to establish what may have started the fire in the first place. Fire investigation is an important process that attempts to establish the cause of the fire and whether a criminal act has taken place. The National Fire Statistics in the UK compiled by the Home Office states that 25% of fires are electrical in origin but this does not tell the whole story. The statistics are compiled from fire report forms that ask for the supposed cause to be entered which may be completed by an untrained fire officer. (Daèid 2004 , p.61. a) It can be very difficult to establish the cause of a fire due to most of the evidence being destroyed. There are various methods used in a fire investigation and these procedures are constantly improving.
FIRE RISK FACTORS
The recent forest fires in America have caused wide spread devastation and have proved very hard to bring under control. There will also be a large scale investigation to try and establish if the fires were started deliberately. House fires could be caused by carelessness by leaving burning candles unattended, not covering an open fire and smokers being careless with their materials. Electric blankets can also be a risk factor. Shops and factory fires can be caused by companies not adhering to company regulations and rules which normally require permits that minimise risks and increase safety within the workplace. Fires can also be caused by a mechanical failure. Vehicle fires could be caused a mechanical problem or due to the vehicle being involved in an accident. Fireworks and flammable materials can also pose a danger to life if they are not used correctly. Criminals could also intentionally start a fire to attempt to cover up a crime that they have committed. (Daèid et al. 2004. b)
PROCEDURES IN FIRE INVESTIGATION
There are a wide range of tests and experiments that can be used to try and aid a fire...