rev. 15.07.98


These pages should serve as a practical reference for fire and explosion investigators, which are those who are called upon to make an investigation with the object of identifying the origin and cause of fires and explosions. It will not give you complete instructions on fire sciences or the the sciences of explosives, which would be far beyond of what a single person is capable to compile, as it is supposed, that the investigators already have an adequate background on these subjects. However, some basics will be included within these pages, to give those who are often associated with these investigations as lawyers, prosecutors and police officers a rough overview on these sciences as far as they are relevant to fire and explosion investigations. Further references on these sciences can be found in the publications section.

The main intentention of these pages is to close a gap in the german literature, where up to now, as far as I know, nothing comparable exists, therefore these pages exist also in German language. There are considerable differencies in the requirements a fire investigator has to meet between the different countries. Even between the different states of the Federal Republic of Germany there are differencies. In Germany the profession of a fire investigator is not known. To be able to work as an independent fire investigator, you have to be an expert on fire causes. To be accepted as an expert on fire causes you have at least to pass an academic education, preferably in chemistry or electrical engineering.

As there are no courses or schools in Germany where fire investigation is tought, the only way to learn this profession is by training on the job. There is practically no possibility to get hired by someone, which brings up the problem to have no income while you are trained on the job. This means, as a fire investigator may be called at practically every time and therefore you may not be capable to work elsewhere, that you have to have enough money to maintain your life for at least one year. Then you will probably get your first paid jobs, but at the beginning they are rare, as nobody knows about you.

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Fire Investigation in Germany / webmaster / revised 15.07.1998