Marine Fire Investigations Course – Carterson Public Safety Group, Inc

Marine Fire Investigations Course


This 3 day course is designed to teach the investigator basic fundamentals in determining the origin and cause of fires and explosions that occur onboard vessels and adjacent structures. The students will review safety considerations, scene documentation, burn pattern analysis, and fuel and ignition sources, based on NFPA 921, NFPA 1033, & NFPA 302.

Course Details
This class is designed for fire service, law enforcement, conservation officers, military personnel and insurance company investigators. This class will provide the investigator with the basic skills and knowledge needed to determine the origin and cause of fires onboard vessels of all types and a basic knowledge of marine fire investigation. The information provided will give the student a basic understanding of the systems and construction of both commercial and recreational vessels.
To investigate the origin and cause of any fire, the investigator must have an understanding of the basics. This class will include a review of NFPA 921 and 1033. As the foundation is laid, the next steps of fire behavior and fire pattern analysis will allow the investigator to identify the area of origin and then determine potential ignition sources that are present on a vessel. The investigator should then be able to identify the most competent ignition source.
By using this basic knowledge, the fire investigator will be presented with the following information that will help them in determining origin and cause of vessel fires:
• Safety of the vessel and the investigator while conducting the investigation
• Conducting an inspection of the vessel
• Understanding vessel construction and design
• Basic vessel terminology
• Understanding vessel systems i.e. Machinery, Fuel, Electrical, and Auxiliary
• Identify common ignition sources
• Identify common fuel sources
• Cause factors
• A basic knowledge of explosions

Publications that the students may find helpful for this course: (Copies will be for sale at the class)
NFPA 921 Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigation– 2014 Edition
NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator – 2014 Edition
NFPA 301 Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessesls – 2013 Edition
NFPA 302, Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motorcraft – 2015 Edition
NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standards for marinas and Boatyards – 2016 Edition
NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves – 2016 Edition
ABYC, American Boat and Yacht Council Standards
Kirk’s Fire Investigation 7th Ed

Basic Fire Investigation (Day 1)

Introduction to Fire Investigation, NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033

Fire Behavior / Interpreting Fire Patterns

Examining the marine fire scene

Documenting the fire scene

Marine Fire Investigation (Day 2)

Identifying the fuel source

Identifying the ignition source

Post Explosion Investigation

Case Study

Marine Fire Investigation (Day 3)

Collecting the fire scene evidence

Fatal Fire Investigation

Review & Test


Robert Collins

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