REI's engineering expertise is used to inspect, evaluate and test products or equipment found to be in an area of fire origin. This is done to determine whether or not it is a viable ignition mechanism and whether or not it is the likely cause of a fire. The following is a list of some exemplar items that REI staff regularly evaluate:
REI actively participates in NFPA 921 task groups and specializes in reviewing and critiquing fire investigation work done by outside investigators to ensure that the correct conclusions were reached and that appropriate methodologies were used.
REI staff maintain various certifications and memberships through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), the Internationa Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and other organizations, to help maintain an advanced level of knowledge and continuing education. All investigations and analyses are conducted following NFPA 921 and using the scientific method.
REI maintains current on automotive design and REI staff are also certified accident reconstructionists through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR). All investigations and analyses are conducted following NFPA 921 and using the scientific method.
REI is fully capable of creating software based fire growth, spread and product creation models to validate and communicate the fire sequence to the courts.
Fire investigators encounter a variety of construction materials when entering an old building, and that might include asbestos. Respirators and masks should protect you from inhaled asbestos fibers which may be released during material disintegration from either the fire or water impact on old walls.
The real danger occurs during the overhaul stage when firefighters have the blaze under control and search for remaining hotspots. Often this is done without the use of any respiratory protection and asbestos fibers can then be inhaled along with many other dangerous chemicals. The hazards of asbestos are well documented. Exposure can lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer. Often the symptoms of these diseases don.t show until years after exposure. Be sure to keep vigilant for chemical and fiber hazards when entering any structure built prior to 1980.