Fire Investigations are carried out by the staff of the Fire Safety Department, who are also trained as Fire Investigators. They may be carried out at the request of; the Officer In Charge (OIC) of an incident, the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) if arson is suspected, whenever there is a fatality at a fire or to determine the cause of a major fire incident.All Fire Safety staff are trained in Fire Investigation techniques at the Fire Service College (FSC) in the UK, in addition to this some members of staff have also being on attachment with the London Fire Brigade Fire Investigation Unit.
Fire Investigation Equipment
The Fire Safety vehicle carries a selection of tools
and equipment required to carry out any fire investigation.
Fire Investigation Training
In order to attend the Fire Service College courses candidates are required to have either completed a suitable Foundation Fire Investigation Course or to complete an e-learning (internet accessed) Foundation Fire Investigation Module provided as an introduction to the course. Those attending have to work in real fire scenes as part of a syndicates in addition to classroom assignments.
After successful completion of the Fire Investigation Course and with relevant work experience, the student should be able to:
- Discuss the role of a fire investigator and legal standing,
- Understand the requirements for health and safety during scene investigation,
- Understand and apply the methodology of good fire investigation, using knowledge of fire chemistry and fire behaviour to identify patterns of spread and development and unusual behaviour,
- Identify the causes of fire by practical evaluation of a fire scene excavating the debris to establish cause,
- Establish the contribution to fire spread and development made by the structure, materials present and the fire fighting tactics,
- Identify the effects of an explosion at a fire scene,
- Identify the signs of arson and the need to work with other investigative agencies in such cases,
- Describe the impact on the fire of any fire suppression systems present,
- Use observational skills to identify items recovered from the debris and to recreate the fire scene to identify points of origin,
- Gather evidence and prepare notes for presentation in court,
- Prepare and present a report of a fire investigation and the findings.