An arson investigation basically focuses on four broad areas which are as follows:
A standardized protocol must be followed in arson and fire investigation which is as follows:
1. Identification of the first caller from the scene of incidence.
2. Identification of any injured person present at the scene of incidence and medical assistance must be provided to the personnel.
3. Protect the whole area by the barricading tape in order to avoid entry of unnecessary personnels.
4. Obtain photographs of the scene of incidence from all the possible angles.
5. Obtain insurance information and identification of the public or private insurance investigators.
6. Record check of the property is another crucial step by the forensic investigators. Record check includes assessor records or tax records.
7. Weather conditions must be taken into consideration as well as proper documentation of the scene of incidence must be taken in the form of notes.
8. Searching method must be employed by the forensic experts and crime scene investigators depending upon the area of the crime scene.
9. Remove all the debris and clean all the relevant tools or articles and establishing the area for evidence collection.
10. Evidences must be thoroughly searched and collected from the crime scene as well as preserved properly for the further laboratory analysis as evidences are admissible in court of law.
11. Analyze fire flow patterns, damage patterns, and evidences such as shields and shadows, inverted cone burn pattern, etc. Document the evidences with photos, sketches and notes.
The role of forensic fire investigator is to check for possible incendiary devices, license plate of automobiles in the area of fire, and to ensure that access to the scene is under control. Another major task of fire investigator is to survey the exterior as well as interior of the structure of the building. The goal is to assess probable fire origin, secure evidence and to control fire overhaul procedures to protect evidence.
Once the evidences are collected in secured manner, they will send to the forensic laboratory for further analysis and examination. After the results are interpretated, the report prepared by forensic expert is admissible under court of law.