Fire & Forensic
Currently, fire safety legislation does not cover existing single private dwellings. There are no plans to include them in current legislation. However, the common areas of flats and maisonettes are controlled by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this order lays down certain requirements.
Houses that have been converted to other uses, halfway houses, residential homes and houses in multiple occupation are subject to fire safety legislation. When built, all domestic properties are subject to building regulations. Approved Document B and other codes of practice deal with all fire safety measures. However, once the house is completed, the responsibility for fire safety falls to the owner.
Causes of Domestic Fires
Common causes of domestic fires include smoking, unattended cooking equipment, dirty grill pans, overheating microwaves, overloaded electric sockets, and increasingly, phones, laptops and children’s electronic toys left charging for too long are also major causes of household fires.
Having the right expert is crucial to determine the origin and cause of the fire, collate evidence and produce an expert report for the client.
AMA fire experts have over 60 years’ cumulative experience working in UK fire and Rescue Services and have investigated the origin and cause of thousands of domestic fires including :-
- accidental fires
- deliberate/arson fires
- domestic appliance fires
- electrical fires
- solar panel and roof fires
- fatal fires
and have provided expert witness evidence for both defence and prosecution and for HM Coroner in relation to fatal fires.
Case Study: White Goods Fire
This case study has been redacted due to the sensitivity of this case. A fatal fire occurred in a house. The Fire & Rescue Service following their attendance recorded the cause as the washing machine located in the kitchen. Our expert arrived at the premises to find the contents of the kitchen in the back yard and the premises boarded up. A relative of the owner arrived at the premises shortly after our expert and allowed access.
Our expert was informed that the washing machine had been purchased second hand from a retail shop and as that was the stated cause according to the fire and rescue service, he was going to commence proceedings against the shop for supplying defective goods.
Our expert carried out a detailed examination of the washing machine and found the internal areas including the plastic soap tray, which was mostly intact and the internal wiring still had most of the insulation attached. Examination of the drum area exposed the plastic agitators inside the drum were still intact and relatively undamaged. Due to our forensic examination we were able to prove that the fire damage to the washing machine was caused as a result of the fire and not as a result of a fault with the machine thus removing any liability from the shop.
Fire Investigator (fire / forensic experts)