Arc Mapping, or Arc Fault Circuit Analysis, uses the electrical system to help reconstruct a scene, providing investigators with a means of determining the area of a fire’s origin. This module shows how electrical circuits can be damaged by fire, discusses how electrical arcs occur, defines and describes the arc mapping technique, and provides tips for how to present arc mapping technique and findings in legal proceedings.
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Fire investigators know that almost any type of energy can be responsible for igniting a flame. When investigating a fire, it’s important to recognize the role that electricity and electrical circuits can play in the cause of the fire. Your ability to understand how electrical systems work, the ways they can fail, and how you can use a technique known as arc mapping to determine a fire’s area of origin will be the focus of this course.
While the topic of electricity may seem complex, a basic understanding of how an electrical circuit works is essential for any investigator.