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Course Details

Fire and Explosion Investigation

University of Leeds
CPD Unit, Faculty of Engineering
Contact Provider
5 Day course
Short Course
See website for detailed leaflet
Weetwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel, Leeds, LS16 5PS, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Background to the course

The total monetary cost of fire and explosions (of losses and safety provision) in the UK is estimated at £6 billion per year or approximately 1% of GDP and this is typical of the financial cost of fire in developed countries across the globe. Loss of life in fires is commonplace and can be in large numbers, as in the Bradford football stadium fire and the Kings Cross fire.

Fire investigation carried out correctly provides a most important tool for;

  • Improving public safety (by revealing the weak points in our current practices in prevention, suppression, mitigation and building design)
  • Improving the assessment of liability and where appropriate underpinning and safeguarding the integrity of resultant civil and/or criminal prosecutions;
  • Reducing social, economic and environmental losses.

How can you be sure that you have got it right?

Fire investigators face a unique competency challenge. How many other professionals must routinely testify in court as to how they reached their conclusions? Mistakes can have serious implications.

There is no “art” to fire investigation but there should be plenty of “science”! As the legal climate for fire investigation becomes more demanding, the need for a rigorous scientific foundation is growing. A competent investigator should have in-depth knowledge (and experience in applying this knowledge) in order to recognise the clues and evidence at the fire scene, collect, test, analyse and interpret it. For a sound conclusion the whole process must be based firmly on scientific principles and methodologies and be guided by the legal framework.

Intended Audience

Our target audience is the national/international community of stake holders in fire investigation. These include fire fighters/investigators, forensic scientists, procurators fiscal, coroners, police, scene of crime officers, health & safety executive, insurers, and local authorities, fire safety and security consultants.

What will you get out of this course?

This course aims to provide a large part of the scientific knowledge and understanding needed in Fire Investigation within the framework of the new relevant legislation. The course will provide a mix of lectures and a large range of case studies/scenarios, many of which are given by the person who has investigated the incident.

The course will be delivered by a large team of practitioners and academics, all experts in their particular fields of contribution. We have over 10 external consultants presenting on our course.

Example calculations and scientific analyses and case-studies will be used by the speakers to demonstrate clearly the application and significance of science principles in fire investigation. The syllabus of the course covers the breadth and far exceeds the depth of the subjects required for the IFE membership ExaminationPaper: Fire Investigation.

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