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FIS provides fire investigation services for domestic, commercial, structural, mechanical and rural fires.

FIS aim is to conduct the safe and systematic investigation or analysis of fire and explosion incidents.

Origin and Cause Investigation

Fire investigation is the process of determining the origin, cause, and development of a fire or explosion.

Investigations are conducted in a scientific method with the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of a hypothesis.

It is through the efficient analysis and accurate determination of the origin and cause that the responsibility and possible liability is assessed.

Fire Investigation Process

Every fire and explosion incident is in some way unique and different from any other, but the following is an outline of the typical process followed:


Instructions are received to undertake a fire investigation for the purposes of determining the origin and cause of a fire.

Prior to travelling to the scene, contact is made with all relevant and interested parties to advise of the investigation plan.

Initial Action

At the scene the initial observation involving preparing an investigation plan, developing a risk assessment and an OSH plan.

The investigation Plan

The investigation plan will vary in size depending on the scene, but will cover hazard identification, examination issues, hazard identification and how to deal with identified problems. The plan may also include traffic management and/or plan for historical places issues (if applicable).

The plan will evolve as the scene investigation proceeds and will include other interested or involved parties. 

Physical examination using investigative techniques

The examination, documentation and collection of all relevant physical evidence. Typically this involves working from the outside of the scene toward the inside of the scene, i.e. from the area of least damage to the area of most damage. Full documentation of the observations made during this process are collated from detailed field notes, photographic recording of the scene, before, during and after the investigation.
Investigative techniques used in the physical examination may include:

  • Scene investigation
  • Forensic examination and collection
  • Scene photography and videoing
  • Use of Media/Public filming
  • Maps/Sketching
  • Field Testing
  • Scientific Testing
  • Search
  • Time Line Analysis
  • Witness interviewing

Analysis and final determination of origin and cause of the fire or explosion

From the physical examination and investigative analysis of evidence obtained at the fire scene, an origin and cause determination will be established.

Comprehensive reporting of findings

Provision of a comprehensive and objective report on findings will be supplied to the client and relevant parties.

Expert evidence if required for court proceedings

If the determination indicates detection of the crime of arson, other fraudulent offences or the establishment of liability or recovery issues, we are available to provide expert witness testimony on the fire investigation, origin and cause.

Co-ordination of major scenes

We have the expertise to co-ordinate the investigative team at the fire scene on behalf of clients.


A fire or explosion investigation is a complex endeavour involving skill, technology, knowledge, and science.