NFPA 1730 refers the reader to the qualifications of NFPA 1021, Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications which outlines the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a company officer to conduct preliminary investigations for origin and cause.
- Knowledge of arson methods, fire causes, fire behavior, and documentation of investigative procedures.
- Know when to delay overhaul operations.
- Ability to properly secure an incident scene.
- Ability to recognize and protect potential evidence from damage and destruction.
With stretched budgets and minimal staffing, it may be best for departments to train and equip company officers (and even lower ranks) to conduct these investigations. Below are some resources that you may want to consider as you develop a department training program.
The Fire Officer's Responsibilities at Incendiary Fires - Firehouse Magazine
Firefighting and Preserving the Fire Scene: Finding the Balance - Fire Engineering Magazine
Fire Cause Determination for Company Officers - USFA Student Manual
CFItrainer.net - Free on-line investigation training
Catching Killers: Fire Investigation - video/documentary
Incendiary: The Willingham Case - video/documentary