Arson & Explosions

Arson & Explosions - Arson Explosion Investigations...

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    Arson & Explosion Investigations
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    Investigation r Difficult scenes to investigate Evidence is largely destroyed by the explosion or fire Efforts to extinguish fire also destroy evidence Forensic Scientist’s duty: to detect and identify  igniters, accelerants and detonating materials present  (indicating arson), or determine that there are none  (indicating accidental causes)
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    Accidental Fires r Faulty wiring Defective appliance Untended fireplace Candles left burning Falling asleep while smoking Stovetops burners left on Knocking over burning grills or candles Kitchen flare ups Irons left on (including curling irons) Lightning
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    Important Definitions Oxidation : the combination of oxygen with another  substance to produce new substances Energy : the combined ability or potential of a system  or material to do work  heat, light, nuclear, electrical, mechanical, chemical Combustion : rapid combination of oxygen with  another substance accompanied by heat & light Simply, fire requires heat, fuel & air (oxygen)
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    Chemistry of Fire r Energy is required to begin a reaction Fire requires heat energy Substances have energy barriers which must  be overcome by heat energy in order to start  oxidation The required heat energy is the  ignition  temperature  of the fuel
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    Chemistry of Fire r Fuel reacts with oxygen to produce flame only when  the fuel is in a gaseous or vapor state… even if the  fuel is a solid or liquid! Temperature must be high enough to vaporize the  fuel Liquid Fuels The  flashpoint  of a liquid fuel is the lowest temperature at which  the liquid gives off sufficient vapor to support combustion Solid Fuels Solid must be hot enough to produce gaseous products Chemical breakdown of solids to gas -->  pyrolysis
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