Arson Investigative Guide (1).ppt - ARSON INVESTIGATIVE GUIDE AND PROCEDURES 1 I LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE The law on arson in the Philippines is covered by

Arson Investigative Guide (1).ppt - ARSON INVESTIGATIVE...

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Unformatted text preview: ARSON INVESTIGATIVE GUIDE AND PROCEDURES 1 I. LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE The law on arson in the Philippines is covered by Articles 320 to 326 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by PD No. 1613, PD No. 1744, and Sec. 50 Rule VIII IRR of RA 6975 which provides that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) shall have the power to investigate all causes of fires and, if necessary, file the proper complaint with the City/Provincial prosecutor who has jurisdiction over arson cases. 2 A. Elements of Arson 1. 2. 3. Actual burning took place Actual burning is done with malicious intent. The actual burning is done by person(s) legally and criminally liable. 3 B. The Law of Arson 1. Article 320 – 326 of the Revised Penal Code Defines Arson its forms and penalties. 2. PD 1613 – Amending the Law on Arson. Defining the Prima Facie Evidence of Arson. 3. PD 1744 – Amending Article 320 of RPC. Imposing death penalty to arsonist. *But after the EDSA Revolution 1, death penalty was abolished by then President Corazon C. Aquino. 4 4. RA 7659 – An act to impose death penalty on certain heinous crimes, amending for that purpose the Revised Penal Code. As amended, other special laws, and for other purposes. 5. RA 6975 Sec. 54 – Which provides that the Fire Bureau shall have the power to investigate all causes of fires and if necessary file the proper complaint with the City/Provincial Prosecutor who has jurisdiction over the case. 5 C. Prima Facie Evidence of Arson If the fire started simultaneously in more than one part of the building or establishment. If substantial amount of flammable substances or materials are stored within the building not necessary in the business of the offender nor for household use. 6 If gasoline, kerosene, petroleum or other flammable or combustible substances or materials soaked therewith or containers, thereof, or any mechanical electrical, chemical or electronic contrivance designed to start a fire, or ashes or traces of any foregoing are found in the ruins or premises of the burned building or property. 7 If the building or property is insured for substantially more than its actual value at the time of the issuance of policy. If during the lifetime of the corresponding fire insurance policy more than two fire have occurred in the same or other premises owned or under the control of the offender and/or insured. 8 If shortly before the fire a substantial of the effects and stored in building or property had been withdrawn from the premises except in the ordinary course of business. If a demand for money or other valuable consideration was made before the fire in exchange for the distance of the offender or for the safety of the person or property of the victim. 9 II. Definitions INVESTIGATE – To seek information about by searching into or examining. INVESTIGATION - An examination for the purpose of discovering information about something. INVESTIGATION - Discussion, examination, exploration, inquiry, interrogation, pursuit, query, question, research, review, search, scrutiny. 10 III. Fire and Arson Investigation Procedures 1.) General. - Arson, the malicious burning of property, is one of the most difficult offense to investigate. The arsonist attempts to successfully set a fire and to escape undetected. This is most often accomplished by using an ignition-delaying device that allows the arsonist to leave the scene before the fire started. The fire can consume the scene and destroy much physical evidence of the offense. Harder forms of evidence are often buried in debris and glossy altered in appearance. a.) Almost invariably, it is circumstantial evidence that supports the investigator’s conclusions. This circumstantial evidence must be strong enough to establish strong connection between the suspect and the fire. 11 This Characteristic of arson, and the physical appearance of the scene, is the same; whether of criminal or accidental origin, makes proof a very complex investigative task. Although the circumstances may be definitely suspicious, accidental fires are common and the investigator must eliminate every possibility of natural or accidental causes before he can build a hypothesis of arson. 12 b.) These are some of the basic difficulties in detecting and investigating arson. The problem of serious fire, when the scene is a smoldering ruin, may seem impossible; however, an investigator applying the scientific and practical techniques of arson investigation can determine the origin and cause of the fire and recover vital physical evidence from the fire scene. 13 2. Motives a.) Insurance Fraud. This offense normally involves burning of one’s own property to wrongfully collect (defraud) insurance money for the loss, by fire, of the insured property. b.) Grudge and Spite Fires. An individual seeking to revenge a wrong, either real or fancied, may attempt to injure or to cause hardship to the person who caused the wrong. Because a fire may inflict both physical and financial injury, it may be used as a medium for revenge. 14 c.) Fires to Cause Public Disturbances. An offender may resort to arson as a means of causing a public disturbance. A fire attracts people, is destructive, causes confusion, and gives rise to attendant problems that divert police attention. d.) Sabotage Fires. Arson is one of the saboteur’s most effective weapons. 15 e.) Fires to Conceal Other Crimes. A criminal may attempt to cover another crime with a fire; he may reason that the burning will appear accidentally and will destroy the evidence of the original crime. A murderer may burn both the scene and the victim in the hope that the corpse will be destroyed or the cause of death obliterated. A burglar may use fire to cover burglary. 16 f.) Fires by Pyromaniacs. Because the pyromaniacs commits the crime of arson to satisfy an overpowering impulse, he usually does not seek any insurance indemnity or other material gain. g.) Fires by Vandals. Vandalism, as used in the discussion, is a general term denoting intentional burning to destroy property. 17 3. Fire Tetrahedron 18 Fire Behavior 19 Fire has been both a help and a hindrance to mankind throughout history. Fire has heated our homes, cooked our food, and helped us to become technologically advanced. Fire, in its hostile mode, has also endangered us for as long as we have used it. 20 FIRE Is a rapid, self-sustaining oxidation process accompanied by the evolution of heat and light of varying intensity. Is a chemical reaction. It is the rapid oxidation of a fuel producing heat and light. It is an oxidation taking place with a rate rapid enough to produce heat and light. 21 Triangle of Fire For many years, the fire triangle (oxygen, fuel and heat) was used to teach the components of fire. While this simple example is useful, it is NOT technically correct. HEAT OXYGEN FUEL 22 Fire Tetrahedron For combustion to occur, four components are necessary: Oxygen (oxidizing agent) Fuel Heat Self-sustained chemical reaction 23 Fire Tetrahedron Each component of the tetrahedron must be in place for combustion to occur. Remove one of the four components and combustion will not occur. If ignition has already occurred, the fire is extinguished when one of the components is removed from the reaction. 24 OXYGEN (Oxidizing Agent) Oxidizing agents are those materials that yield oxygen or other oxidizing gases during the course of a chemical reaction. Oxidizers are not themselves combustible, but they support combustion when combined with a fuel. 25 FUEL Fuel is the material or substance being oxidized or burned in the combustion process. 26 HEAT Heat is the energy component of the fire tetrahedron. When heat comes into contact with a fuel, the energy supports the combustion reaction. 27 SELF-SUSTAINED CHEMICAL REACTION Combustion is a complex reaction that requires a fuel (in the gaseous or vapor state), an oxidizer, and a heat energy to come together in a very specific way. Once flaming combustion or fire occurs, it can only continue when enough heat energy is produced to cause the continued development of fuel vapors or gases. Scientists call this type of reaction a “chain reaction”. A chain reaction is a series of reactions that occur in sequence with the result of each individual reaction being added to the rest. 28 Fire Development When the four components of the fire tetrahedron come together, ignition occurs. For a fire to grow beyond the first material ignited, heat must be transmitted beyond the first material to additional fuel packages. 29 Stages of Fire Ignition Growth Flashover Fully developed Decay 30 STAGES OF FIRE DEVELOPMENT TEMPERATURE RISE FLASH-OVER POST FLASH-OVER GROWTH IGNITION FULLY DEVELOPED FIRE DECAY TIME 31 IGNITION Ignition describes the period when the four elements of the fire tetrahedron come together and combustion begins 32 GROWTH Shortly after ignition, a fire plume begins to form above the burning fuel. As the plume develops, it begins to draw or entrain air from the surrounding space into the column. 33 FLASHOVER Flashover is the transition between the growth and the fully developed fire stages and is not a specific event such as ignition. During flashover, conditions in the compartment change very rapidly as the fire changes from one that is dominated by the burning of the materials first ignited to one that involves all of the exposed combustible surfaces within the compartment. 34 FULLY DEVELOPED The fully developed fire stage occurs when all combustible materials in the compartment are involved in the fire. 35 DECAY As the fire consumes the available fuel in the compartment, the rate of heat released begins to decline. 36 MODES OF HEAT TRANSFER 37 Heat is by-product of combustion that is of significant importance to the firefighter. It is heat that causes fire to sustain its combustion and, more important, to extend. When heat given off as a product of combustion is exposed to an unheated substance, certain changes occur that can make the new substance a contributing factor in extending a fire. 38 CONDUCTION When a hot object transfers its heat, conduction has taken place. The transfer could be to another object or to another portion of the same object. As we have discovered and will be constantly reinforced about, combustion occurs on the molecular level. When an object heats up, the atoms become agitated and begin to collide with one another. A chain reaction of molecules and atoms, like a wave energy, occurs and causes the agitated molecules to pass the heat energy to areas of non-heat. 39 CONVECTION Air that is hotter than its surroundings rises. Air that is cooler than its surroundings sinks. Air is made up of many molecules floating about freely. Even so, it still has weight. Some molecules are made up of the same element. For example, oxygen in its natural state will combine with another oxygen atom to form a stable oxygen molecule. In a given volume, air at a given temperature will have the same density. 40 When heated, as in conduction theory, the molecules become agitated and begin to collide with one another. In the process, the molecules are demanding more space to accommodate the vibrations and they push into one another as they seek that space. When that happens, the density of a given volume is reduced and it weighs less. Because it weighs less, it rises until it reaches equilibrium-the level at which the weight is the same as the surrounding atmosphere. 41 RADIATION The last form of heat transfer occurs by radiation. As we have already seen, heat energy can be transmitted directly when molecules collide with one another and cause the waves of heat energy to travel. 42 SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS 43 Flameover / Rollover The terms flameover and rollover describe a condition where flames move through or across the unburned gases during a fires’ progression. Flameover is distinguished from flashover by its involvement of only the fire gases and not the surfaces of other fuel packages within a compartment. This condition may occur during the growth stage as the hot-gas layer forms at the ceiling of the compartment. 44 45 Thermal Layering of Gases The thermal layering of gases is the tendency of gases to form into layers according to temperature. Other terms sometimes used to describe this tendency are heat stratification and thermal balance. The hot gases tend to be in the top layer, while the cooler gases form the lower layers. 46 47 Backdraft Firefighters operating at fires in the building must use care when opening a building to gain entry or to provide horizontal ventilation (opening doors or windows). As the fire grows in a compartment, large volumes of hot, unburned fire gases can collect in unventilated spaces. These gases may be at or above their ignition temperature but have insufficient oxygen available to actually ignite. Any action during the firefighting operations that allows air to mix these hot gases can result in an explosive ignition called backdraft. 48 49 PRODUCTS OF COMBUSTION 50 Products of Combustion 1. Heat 2. Light 3. Smoke 4. Toxic gases 51 52 FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT THEORY Fire is extinguished by limiting or interrupting one or more of the essential elements in the combustion process (fire tetrahedron). A fire may be extinguished by: a.) Reducing its Temperature b.) Removal of available Fuel c.) Exclusion of Oxygen d.) Inhibition of Self-Sustained Chemical Chain Reaction. 53 end 54 4. Accidental Fires A fire may be presumed to be accidental until accidental causes are eliminated or evidence is found indicating that arson is the cause. 55 The following are the more common accidental causes and some background information: a.) Faulty electrical wiring, including improper voltage and low line capacity; electric motors that have become overheated because of neglect in their care, cleaning, oiling and other required maintenance and pressing, soldering, and other electric irons that have been unattended while in use. 56 1.) The electrical system of a building rarely causes a fire if the installation is up to date and the fuses are working. Fires causes through the electrical system may be due to overloading the circuit, faulty contacts, sparks, carelessness or intentional acts. 2.) Wall receptacles in the area where a fire started may reveal evidence of multiple plug devices which accidentally permitted overloading of the circuit. 57 3.) Extension cords can cause fires by increasing the length of a circuit thus increasing the resistance on the line which in turn cannot be handled by the light wire in the extension cord. 4.) It is not uncommon in electrical fires for witness to see a brilliant flash and actually hear a short circuit. The odor left in the air from the arcing of electricity is also recognizable. 58 5.) Fires can start in electrical appliances, equipment or tool. In most cases where an electric motor catches fire it is because of bearings not being lubricated, faulty starting mechanism or excessive dirt or lint in the motor. 59 b.) Spontaneous combustion is a phenomena in which a combustible material or combination of materials generate or produces heat because of internal chemical action (oxidation) and eventually ignites without any exposure to external sources of fire, spark or abnormal heat. 60 1.) Many substances have a tendency to spontaneous combustion when various conditions operate to create or facilitate a dangerous condition. Coal dust, flour, hay, grain, and other plant products; and porous materials such as rags, papers, etc. soaked in oils are especially susceptible to spontaneous combustion. 61 2.) The factors contributing to spontaneous combustion are many and varied depending on the material concerned. Generally, hot, humid weather and lack of air circulation facilitate the internal generation of heat. 62 3.) Spontaneous heat production originates in the deepest interior of the mass suspected of being the fire source. A simple field test for spontaneous combustion involves stripping away the exterior layers of the burned mass. If the deepest interior is not burned, spontaneous ignition has not occurred. 63 c.) Lighting traces are very characteristic, especially on metallic objects, which melt or show beads of melted or other deformations. d.) Faulty heating equipment is a prominent cause of accidental fires. 64 e.) Sparks. Sparks may originate from nearby fires, chimneys, etc. f.)Explosions. Explosions can cause or result from fires. Explosive materials are readily available to the arsonist or saboteur. Likewise, numerous explosive materials can be found in residences and military organizations that can accidentally explode as a result of fire or resulting in a fire. 65 g.) Action of the sun concentrated by a lens or concave mirror can ignite combustible material h.) Animals. Animals rarely cause fires because of their natural fear of fire. 66 i.) Miscellaneous Causes. Besides the natural and accidental causes of fires already mentioned, there are numerous causes that can be included such as carelessness in smoking, careless handling and storage of flammables, children playing with matches, and fires resulting from the use of blow torch welding apparatus, etc. 67 5. Liaison and Coordination Close liaison and coordination with appropriate fire-fighting, legal, and other investigative authorities, military and civilians, is essentials to arson investigation. There are many different sources of information as well as experts who may be called upon to assist in the collection and evaluation of evidence during an arson investigation. 68 a.) Firemen should be arson detectors. The most important liaison and coordination must be maintained with the local fire department, fire marshal or fire chief. The firemen can recognize and preserve physical evidence as well as observe and testify to unusual conditions at the scene of a fire. 69 b.) Other sources of information and expert assistance which may be used by the investigator. 70 6. Investigative Procedures a.) Investigative Responsibilities. The Fire Marshal or Fire Chief is in charge of the fire scene. While extinguishing the fire and during subsequent inspection of the scene, fire department personnel will attempt to determine the cause of the fire. Initially, fires are presumed to have accidental or natural causes. Arson may be indicated by the fact that all possible accidental causes are eliminated or that evidence of an incendiary origin is discovered. 71 b.) Reporting to the Scene. The investigator should arrive, if possible, while the fire is still burning as there are various pertinent observations that can be made at that time. Because the investigation of arson is normally complicated, it may be advisable in some cases, that a pair of investigators be assigned to such cases. 72 c.) Observation during the fire may be very important. Particular attention should be given to the following aspects of the scene as valuable evidence and information may be obtained and suspects even apprehended. 73 1.) Weather conditions at the time of the fire should be noted. Notes should be made during the burning to include the time, temperature, humidity (warm, humid weather is conducive to spontaneous combustion) storm or lightning conditions, and wind velocity (wind may carry sparks or fan the fire). 74 2.) The scene of a fire is examined in much the same manner as the scene of any other crime. The investigator normally works from the outside to the inside. On the outside, he examines the area for evidence of activity at or near the scene: prints of shoes, or wheel or tire tracks that may indicate the approach of a suspect; or empty containers, match boxes, tools, or other items that may indicate that the fire was started by an arsonist. 75 He examines the area for anything, no matter how insignificant, which he considers may be evidence of arson. Area observations are hastily made as the investigator also attempts to observe the burning itself. 76 3.) The investigator examines the b...
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