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					                  FIRE 2200 Fire Investigation Methods
Section #33196                                                       Section #33195
Tuesday                                                              Thursday
7:15 pm – 9:55 pm                                                    9:00 am – 11:40 am
Room: A-2021                                                         Room: A-2021


William J. Shaw        Office: 440-525-7193           Work: 440-349-6333


The primary text used for this course shall be “Fire Investigator”, 1st Edition, published
by IFSTA. The text is available in the bookstore. Any additional reading material shall
be provided by the instructor

                                 ABOUT THE COURSE

This course will give the student insight into fire investigation methods and techniques as
well as the legal aspects of fire investigation. The course teaches a systematic approach
to the investigation of fires in accordance with NFPA 921. Topics for discussion and
instruction include:
        causes of fires and explosions
        scene searching and recording
        evidence collection procedures
        motivations of arsonists
        criminal and civil aspects of fire investigation
        interviewing and interrogation
        trial preparation
        investigator safety

                              GENERAL INFORMATION

Students should attempt to attend every class session. It is your responsibility to contact
me to make up missed classes or obtain notes/information from fellow students. This is
your class. Feel free to ask questions and make constructive suggestions which might
benefit all. I retain the right to alter the syllabus to meet changing conditions or

Test questions will be taken from the text, lectures, handouts, videos, and any
supplemental readings. Your final grade will be determined by the following:

                       Assignment and Mock Trial              10%
                       Quizzes                                30%
                       Midterm                                30%
                       Final                                  30%

If you can not attend on the assigned days for any of the above, you must contact me
before the assignment/test. If you do not contact me prior to the test, no points will be


All assignments shall be typed and double spaced. Papers will be graded on content as
well as proper spelling and use of grammar. Do not simply retype some information from
a legal book. I am looking for understanding on your part of the below topics. If you
have difficulty, contact me.

1. Explain the difference, according to the Ohio Revised Code, of the four culpable
      mental states of a crime.
               (Purposely, Knowingly, Recklessly, Negligently)

2. What was the significance of the Michigan v. Tyler case in regards to fire investigators
      securing search warrants.

3. What was the significance of the Michigan v. Clifford case to fire investigators.

4. Explain the difference between “Serious Physical Harm” and “Physical Harm” as it
      applies to both persons and property, as defined in the Ohio Revised Code.

All assignments shall be due no later than Week 15. No late assignments will be

Week 1         Organization, Responsibilities, and Authority – Guest Instructor TBA
1/13 or 1/15   Reading: Ch. 1

Week 2         Fire Behavior
1/20 or 1/22   Reading: Ch. 2

Week 3         Basic Building Construction
1/27 or 1/29   Reading: Ch. 3

Week 4         Finish Building Construction; Building Services
2/3 or 2/5     Reading: Ch. 4

Week 5         Quiz #1 Hazardous Materials
2/10 or 2/12   Fires involving fatalities
               Reading: Ch. 6

Week 6         Examining the Fire Scene
2/17 or 2/19   Reading: Ch. 7

Week 7         Basic Electricity - Guest Instructor: Mike Santilli
2/24 or 2/26   Reading: Ch. 5

Week 8         Midterm
               Securing the Fire Scene
3/3 or 3/5     Reading: Ch. 8

3/10 or 3/12

Week 9         Exterior Examination
3/17 or 3/19   Reading: Ch. 13

Week 10        Debris Examination, Removal, Reconstruction and Determination of
               Ignition Source
3/24 or 3/26   Reading: Ch. 14

Week 11        Quiz #2
3/31 or 4/2    Evidence Collection; Interview and Interrogation
               Reading: Ch. 10 & 11

Week 12        Analysis of Findings
4/7 or 4/9     Reading: Ch. 15

Week 13        Documenting the Fire Scene; Investigator Safety; Preparing for Trial
4/14 or 4/16   Reading: Ch. 9 & Ch. 16

Week 14        Explosion Investigation
4/21 or 4/23

Week 15        Mock Trial
4/28 or 4/30   All written assignments due

Week 16        Final Examination
5/5 or 5/7