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5/12/15

This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with additional ammunition to attack subrogation claims involving fire losses.

The Gharda case involves a warehouse fire with a complex causation theory involving testimony from several experts, including two fire investigators, two chemists, and an electrical engineer.  The fire investigators based their opinions on the opinions of the two chemists.

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Description

This recall involves Kaldi’s Coffee disposable paper cup sleeves used with 12- and 16-ounce paper cups. The black paper cup sleeves have the “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the company logo printed on the front, and “100% Recycled Paperboard” printed on the back.

 

Read the full article at CPSC

U.S. Fire Administration
October 2014 What is an E-Cigarette? The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.

 

What is an E-Cigarette?

The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.

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Introduction Forensic electrical engineering is the practical application of electrical engineering knowledge to legal questions about electrical phenomena. Practical electrical engineering knowledge is obtained from experience in designing, installing, maintaining and repairing electrical devices, appliances, and equipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions, and court testimony are used to explain electrical phenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges, and juries. The area of practice extends from software for computers to the generation and distribution of electrical power, which might be controlled by software, and to consumer products. The electrical engineer explains how the electrical software, equipment, or device functions normally and why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, or failed in this instance causing damage, financial loss, injury, or death. In some instances, the electrical engineer might be retained by a client to verify that electricity was not involved with the cause of a fire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electrical engineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, and optical knowledge to answer questions since the generation, distribution, and utilization of electrical power involves mechanical components, which can produce heat and light.

by Thomas P. Shefchick

Introduction

Forensic electrical engineering is the practicalapplication of electrical engineering knowledge tolegal questions about electrical phenomena. Practicalelectrical engineering knowledge is obtained fromexperience in designing, installing, maintainingand repairing electrical devices, appliances, andequipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions,and court testimony are used to explain electricalphenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges,and juries. The area of practice extends from softwarefor computers to the generation and distributionof electrical power, which might be controlled bysoftware, and to consumer products.The electrical engineer explains how the electricalsoftware, equipment, or device functions normallyand why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, orfailed in this instance causing damage, financial loss,injury, or death. In some instances, the electricalengineer might be retained by a client to verify thatelectricity was not involved with the cause of afire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electricalengineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, andoptical knowledge to answer questions since thegeneration, distribution, and utilization of electricalpower involves mechanical components, which canproduce heat and light.

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In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

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NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

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The next CCAI Training Seminar will be held November 2 - 4, 2015

Investigators: Fire safe smokes?

Shared by Jamie Novak, St. Paul Fire Department

safe_smokesMysterious house fires are happening a lot more than officials had expected, and so-called "fire safe" cigarettes are a common culprit.  FOX 9 Investigator Jeff Baillon found the special paper that's supposed to "self-extinguish" can still be a smoldering risk, and lawmakers are now looking into it.

Watch the video

Sun, vodka bottles start fire inside Burnsville liquor store

Shared by Jamie Novak, St. Paul Fire Department

by Maury Glover

Vodka-fireBURNSVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) - Burnsville fire officials say they've never heard of so-called firewater could become a starter without the aid of a match or spark, but that's exactly what happened when vodka bottles magnified sunlight and started a fire inside Red Lion Liquors.

The store has been in Burnsville since 1978, and it's occupied its current building for the past nine years. They have bulletproof glass to stop burglars and vandals from breaking in, but that couldn't' protect them from a problem that started inside.

Read more and watch the video

The Goal is Truth

By Paul Francois & Enrique Garcia
Third Degree Communications

When testifying in court as to the manner in which we conducted an interview, defense counsel will often ask us whether we just wanted his client to "confess." We answer that we do not seek confessions  but rather truth. After all, no good cop is interested in false information, only truthful information. That is why our motto at Third Degree Communications is "Nothing but the Truth."

One little tidbit we impart on our students to help convey this concept is by reminding them that if obtaining the truth is their ultimate goal, then they should be doing nothing that might prevent them from obtaining the truth. For example, getting angry with a subject who is lying would most likely sever rapport and interfere with accomplishing the goal of obtaining the truth. Raising my voice, insulting him, or speaking to him in a condescending manner are all most likely going to be rapport killers that will stymie my ability to get to a successful and truthful outcome with the subject. If we want to get people to provide us with truthful information, we should avoid doing anything that will interfere with accomplishing this goal.

This actually applies to many areas of our lives if we think about it. Let's say I've made a new year's resolution to avoid gossiping about other people. There are several steps I can and should consider that will help me accomplish this goal, including but not limited to:

  •  Avoiding certain people who I know thrive on gossip
  • Not asking certain questions that are more likely to lead to gossip, such as "Who did that?" "What are you guys talking about?" "What happened next?"
  • Excusing myself from conversations that turn in the direction of gossip

In the same manner, if my goal is to obtain truthful information, I must only engage in behavior that's more likely to help me accomplish this goal and to avoid behavior that will interfere: 

  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Manipulating my tone of voice to maximize my effectiveness
  • Establishing rapport
  • Being a compassionate, empathetic listener
  • Projecting an image of being non-judgmental and accepting

 

Getting people to tell the truth means creating an environment that is conducive to helping them cooperate. Obtaining our goal means everything that I say and do is oriented toward achieving that goal. It's a remarkably simple concept, but a critical one to remember throughout the interview.

Passing of Rob Van Wormer

The following article was submitted by Randy Martin, CCAI Chaplain.

 

As I arrived at the parking lot of the HP Pavillion in San Jose, I was greeted by a red sea of fire apparatus.  The San Jose Fire Department had provided two ladder trucks that were set up in the parking lot; ladders fully extended facing each other with a very large American flag hanging between them.  It was a spectacular site, and what an awesome tribute to Rob.  The flag hanging is this manner has always impressed me.

After arriving, I located the Chaplain that would be performing the service.  As it turned out, he was a Captain that had I worked with in Riverside, California.  It was good to see him again.

The procession that entered the parking lot was laden with fire apparatus and was followed by the limousines that carried the family.  The procession route was lined with fire personnel standing at attention and saluting as the fire engine, which carried the casket, made its way through the crowd.

The San Jose Fire Department had positioned two additional ladder trucks with their ladders fully extended, donning the American flag hanging between them inside the Pavillion.

The service opened with music and a warm welcome to everyone in attendance followed by prayer, guest speakers, the eulogy, and a message to the Fire Family, a Law Enforcement prayer and a song.  The Benediction was followed by the Fire Fighters prayer, the Last Alarm and the Riffle Volley.  Taps rang out from the bag pipes, which always gets to me.  In closing, they had the Flag Folding after which the pipes and drums played Amazing Grace and ended with the presentation of gifts for the Family.

Rob was only on this earth for 47 years; he left us way too soon! He will be missed dearly.

Fire Chaplain

Randy Martin

Remembering 9-11

September 11, 2001

CCAI
Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice
and those they left behind.

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