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Written by Joseph Camorata and reprinted with permission from Firehouse.com.  Click here for more images.

Renewable energy systems, especially solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, are here to stay.  As such, the fire investigation community must adapt to this technology, similar to what had to be done with hybrid electric vehicles, with regards to both fire suppression and cause and origin investigative techniques.

As part of the investigator's “toolbox,” a fire investigator should be familiar with the solar PV installations within their jurisdiction.  From here, a property list can be compiled and an investigative pre-plan can be developed.  This list should include a “special call’ list of technical advisers as well.

SUMMARY:

Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp. (KME) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Predator Severe Service vehicles manufactured August 28, 2014, to January 27, 2016. The affected vehicles are equipped with Pelican 9410L flashlights, part number 9410-021-245 or 9410-021-110, with lithium ion battery packs, part number 9413-301-001, which may overheat.

For more information, click here.

Description

This recall involves lithium-ion batteries containing Panasonic cells that are used in HP notebook computers. The batteries are compatible with HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion notebook computers. The black batteries measure about 8 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1 inch high. The battery bar code is printed on the back of the battery. “HP Notebook Battery” and the model number are printed on the battery. The batteries included in this recall have the following barcodes: 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL and 6EBVA.

 

Get the details at CPSC

SUMMARY:

Lakota Corporation (Lakota) is recalling certain model year 2014 Luxe trailers. The affected trailers are equipped with certain Frigidaire KG series convection microwaves, model CFMV154CLS, that may start on their own and begin heating when unattended.

For more information, click here.

Description

This recall involves Tommee Tippee® Closer to Nature® electric bottle and food warmers, sold separately or as an accessory with the Complete Starter Kit or the All in One Newborn Set. The bottle and food warmer is white with a gray adjustable control dial located next to the on/off light. Tommee Tippee is stamped in gray on the front of the unit. It measures about 5 inches high, 5 ½ inches wide and 5 inches long. Bottle and food warmers included on this recall have “Min” or “0” stamped on the left-hand side of the control dial and have the UL logo and a six alpha-numeric batch code that begins with a number and ends with “GY” stamped on the underside. Consumers should visit www.tommeetippee.us/bottle-warmer to complete the free replacement registration form.

 

Get all the details at CPSC.

Description

This recall involves 2015 and 2016 model year Polaris Ranger 570 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). They have either two or four seats and a rear box. “Ranger” is printed on the rear box and “570” is printed on the hood. “Polaris” is stamped onto the front grill. The ROVs were sold in several colors. The following models are included in the recall.

 

Model Year

2015

Models

Model Year

2016

Models

Ranger 570

Ranger 570 2x4

Ranger 570 EPS

Ranger 570

Ranger 570 EPS HD

Ranger 570 EPS

Ranger Crew 570

Ranger 570 EPS HD

Ranger Crew 570 EPS

Ranger 570 EPS ZUG

 

Ranger Crew 570

 

Ranger Crew 570 EPS

Get the details at CPSC

Register now for the upcoming CCAI Training Seminar - October 17 - 19, 2016

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White Paper-NHTSA

A Case Study of 214 Fatal Crashes Involving Fire.
Carl L. Ragland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Hsi-Sheng Hsia
Research and Special Programs Administration
United States
Paper Number 9X-S4-O-08
Carl L. Ragland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Hsi-Sheng HsiaResearch and Special Programs Administration
United States
Paper Number 9X-S4-O-08

ABSTRACT
A detailed case study of 214 fatal tire related 
crashes was conducted to determine whether the death was 
caused by the fire or blunt trauma. The cases were also 
examined to determine the specific crash conditions which 
caused the fire. This analysis was necessary because none 
of the existing fatal crash databases contained sufficient 
details to determine the impact configuration or the cause 
of death. Two hundred and ninety three (293) fatalities 
occurred in these crashes. Sixty-five (65) ofthese fatalities 
resulted from fire, with 30 of these fatalities from 16 rear 
impacts. The speed of impact was determined in eight of 
the 16 cases which caused these 30 burn fatalities. In these 
eight cases, the average rear impact speed was 54 mph with 
speeds ranging from 50 - 60 mph, at 7 1% overlap (7 1 % of 
the rear vehicle width engaged), and collinear at 6:00 
O’clock. By projecting these cases to the national sample, 
the number of rear impact fire related fatalities may be 
estimated between 94 and 191.

Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation

Part 1

As the spring fire season approaches, fire investigators across the country will be responding to wildfires to conduct origin and cause investigations. In many jurisdictions, investigators are assigned to a type of investigation that is unfamiliar. During the response, the investigator may be thinking that it is no big deal, having already investigated hundreds of structure fires. How hard can a wildfire be? The answer is simple; you must be trained in wildfire investigation to understand the process.

Read more...

Part 2

In Part 2 of “Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation,” we will continue to discuss the main points for the local fire investigator to focus on when conducting a wildfire investigation. Hopefully, last month’s article was an eyeopener for some local investigators to expand their education. The topics we will cover this month will be fire cause determination and fire cause categories/ignition sources. Investigators should become familiar with NFPA 921 and NWCG Wildfire Origin and Cause Determination Handbook.

Read more...

Zero-clearance fireplaces a main source of fires

Chief: Almost one-third of High Desert house fires caused by zero-clearance fireplaces

A Helendale house fire earlier this month that caused $50,000 in damages was the latest in a string of residential blazes to be traced to a zero-clearance fireplace, a County Fire official said.

Battalion Chief Warren Peterson blames zero-clearance fireplaces for roughly 30 percent of house fires responded to by San Bernardino County Fire.

Read more...

USDC Pennsylvania Permits Vaporizer Fire Case to Proceed to Trial

In MUTUAL BENEFIT INSURANCE COMPANY v. KAZ, INC.,Civil Action No. 1:12-CV-2108 (Feb. 20, 2014) at http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140221C81 was a civil action filed by plaintiff Mutual Benefit Insurance Company ("MBIC"), as subrogee of Betty and Allen Miller, alleging strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty against defendant Kaz, Inc. ("Kaz"). MBIC seeks reimbursement of monies paid pursuant to an insurance policy issued to the Millers, whose house was damaged in a fire. MBIC alleged that Kaz designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold a vaporizer that caused the fire. Presently before the court is Kaz's motion in limine to exclude the testimony of one of MBIC's submitted experts, Randolph Marshall of Marshall Forensic, LLC. For the following reasons, the court denied the motion.

Read more... 

The Six Motives for Firesetting

At any point during your career as a fire investigator you will be assigned to investigate an incendiary fire. When the investigator arrives on the scene, information about the incident will be coming from a variety of sources, including police, firefighters, witnesses and the occupants or owner. It is critical to sort all of the information and analyze it properly. During the investigation we must use critical thinking and ask many questions such as, why was this fire was deliberately set? Why was the home, business or vehicle the target of an arsonist? What was the motivation of the arsonist?

Read More...

More Articles...

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