Scientific Method-Use, Application, and Gap Analysis for Origin Determination


Gregory E. Gorbett, MScFPE, CFEI, IAAI-CFI, CFII, CFPS
Eastern Kentucky University, USA
Wayne Chapdelaine, CFEI, IAAI-CFI, CFII
Metro-Rural Fire Forensics

Presented at International Symposium on Fire Investigation, 2014

The fire investigation industry is considered to be lagging behind the rest of the forensic science fields in its assessment of the performance of methodological approaches and conclusions drawn by practitioners within the field. Despite the best efforts of certifying bodies and industry members, there are still many unknowns within the profession. This paper will present practical uses of the scientific method as it relates to Origin Determination. Several recommended practices have been identified and formatted to reflect the scientific method as utilized in NFPA 921. In addition, where practical, a gap analysis has been conducted on these processes with recommendations provided.

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