The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is sponsoring Arson Awareness Week with a theme of Arson for Profit, in conjunction with the ATF and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). According to the Insurance Information Institute, arsonists destroyed nearly $900 million in insured property and killed 295 civilians nationwide in 2007. With skyrocketing foreclosures and a sagging economy, arson for profit is a major concern.
For insurance claim personnel, law enforcement, SIU investigators, or other individuals who may investigate suspicious fires, the IAAI training website CFItrainer.net is a great training resource. They have a series of professionally edited training videos which provide students with a solid foundation in fire investigation techniques. Registration is required but free.
And of course, any discussion about fire investigation should refer folks to the National Fire Protection Association guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations – commonly referred to as NFPA 921.