Do you have a CCAI-CFI designation? If not, why? There are several Certified Fire Investigator designations within our professional community. The CCAI-CFI designation is the ONLY one that requires the applicant to validate that they have had the overall responsibility of, and have investigated, 150 fires to determine fire origin and separately to determine fire cause. They must also substantiate that they have testified twice, in court or in deposition (not in the same case), under oath, pertaining to the origin and cause of fires or in the field of explosions. The testimony can be criminal, civil or from deposition but must be directly related to fire origin and fire cause or origin and cause in an explosion incident.
Applicants must submit certificates of training showing that they have completed Fire Investigation 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and PC 832 or its equivalent. If you already possess a Level II Fire Investigation Certification from the State of California, a copy of your certification certificate showing Level II will suffice to validate that you have met the training requirements mentioned above. To keep the certificate valid, a CCAI Certified Fire Investigator must attend 30 hours of approved tested training, or 40 hours of CCAI approved non-tested training or a combination of 40 hours tested and non-tested training every three years from the date his or her certificate was issued. The hourly training requirement can easily be met by attending two 20-hour CCAI training seminars within the three-year period.
As you can see, only active persons engaged in day to day cause and origin investigation can obtain a CCAI-CFI designation. Those in the insurance, legal and engineering field must apply elsewhere, I.E. IAAI or NAFI.
We are striving to keep our standards higher than any other organization in the field of fire investigation.
Do you meet the requirements set forth in NFPA 1033? Are you aware that the 2014 edition went into effect on June 17, 2013? This is the Standard for Professional Qualification for Fire Investigators. Three new categories of education have been added to the existing thirteen that a fire investigator must have and maintain. They are Fire Protection Systems, Evidence Documentation Collection and preservation, and Electricity and electrical systems.
This standard applies to both public and private fire investigators, and is recognized in all courts.
Do you have the latest edition of NFPA 921? The 2014 edition became effective on December 2, 2013. All investigations from that date forward should be conducted under this edition. Be sure to devour this edition as there are numerous changes.
The CCAI-CFI program follows the requirements put forth in NFPA 1033 and 921. It is imperative that ALL fire investigators, public or private stay ahead of the curve on training and education.
CCAI is there for you to fulfill your training needs. Please take advantage of what YOUR organization has to offer.
Yours in service,
Tom Pierce, CFI