Master Course Outline
FCA 120
Fire Investigation

Credits: 3
Clock Hours per Quarter: 30

Lecture Hours:30

Basic study of fire scene investigation procedures and techniques used to determine the origin and cause of fire. Topics include accurate determination of the origin and cause of fire, systematic approach to fire scene examination, chemistry of fire, accidental and incendiary fire causes, scene sketching, scene photography, note taking, and Washington State Criminal statutes. Additionally basic scene security, major fire scene control, report writing, interviewing, and courtroom demeanor for the firefighter and investigator will be discussed. Prerequisite: FCA 115 or instructor permission.

Intended Learning Outcomes
  • Explain the reasons for accurate fire scene examination.
  • Describe and use a systematic approach to the examination of a fire scene.
  • Explain the physical property of fire and its effect on fuels present at a fire scene.
  • Explain the application of burn patterns to the area or point of fire origin.
  • Explain sources of ignition and its application to the fuel present.
  • Determine various methods of fire scene security.
  • Accurately sketch a fire scene and understand the importance of evidence locations.
  • Demonstrate efficient and accurate note taking concerning the scene and witness statements.
  • Develop proper methods of photographing a fire scene showing those items necessary for proving the origin and cause of the fire.
  • Identify the RCW and the other specific laws pertaining to the criminally caused fire.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the criminal justice system and its relationship to the criminally caused fire.
  • Describe and understand some motives for the intentionally caused fire.

  • Course Topics
  • Determination of origin and cause of fire
  • Systematic approach to fire scene examination
  • Chemistry of fire
  • Accidental and incendiary fire causes
  • Scene sketching
  • Scene photography
  • Note taking
  • Washington State criminal statutes
  • Basic scene security
  • Major fire scene control
  • Report writing
  • Interviewing
  • Courtroom demeanor

  • Syllabi Listing See ALL Quarters
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    Year Quarter

    Two Year Projected Schedule

    Year One* Year Two**

    *If fall quarter starts on an odd year (2003, 2005, etc.), it's Year One.
    If fall quarter starts on an even year (2002, 2004, etc.), it's Year Two.