Post-fire Investigations



    Centre for Fire and Explosion Protection
    Phone: +49 231 5333-310
    Fax: +49 231 5333-299

    Post-fire Investigations

    If a fire or explosion occurs in a public building or an industrial plant, the insurer or the authorities may order an investigation into the cause.

    Our experts carry out an objective on-scene investigation to determine where the fire broke out. Once this has been done, every possible cause is investigated analytically. Based on the traces and evidence found, each possible ignition source is checked and can be justifiably ruled out by process of elimination.

    Due to constant scientific and technical development, independent experts are becoming even more specialised and, as a result of this, many fire investigations can only be solved with internal teamwork. DMT employs a cross-disciplinary network of technical specialists to the benefit of the fire investigation team.

    If necessary, we can also reconstruct the fire on the original scale, depending on the size of the object, in our fire tunnel in Dortmund.

    Moreover, we support you in selecting appropriate immediate measures to limit the extent of the damage and to prevent further incidents.

    For the overall assessment, and to verify our theories, we perform experiments and supplementary computer simulations in our own fire testing laboratory and use the knowledge gained to make sure that any mistakes made previously are avoided when the building is rebuilt.

    DMT post-fire investigations are recognised throughout Germany by supervisory authorities, insurances and industrial companies. In fact the expert report that we issue after we have completed our work often speeds up subsequent formalities such as insurance claim settlements. 

    DMT services associated with determining the causes of fires

    • Early inspection of the fire site to document and preserve the prevailing status
    • Locating the point at which the fire broke out, augmented by systematic examination of pre-existing fire loads and potential sources of ignition
    • Examining the ignition sources that have been identified and excluding some using the elimination process
    • Sampling and preparing exhibits (e.g. of specimens taken from fire debris)
    • Preparing an expert report of survey
    • Support in selecting suitable immediate measures in order to keep the damage to a minimum and to prevent repetitions of fires and explosions  

    DMT services, referenced to the site, associated with determining the causes of fires

    • Small-scale testing can be carried out in the DMT Fire Laboratory to verify theoretical causes.
    • Large-scale fire testing can be carried out in the DMT fire tunnel. When reconstructing the progress of a fire, testing at 1:1 scale may be conducted, depending on the size of the object involved.
    • Supplementary computer simulations.
    • Cross-disciplinary network of technical experts.
    • Training and seminars on various topics in the fields of fire protection.  

    External services associated with determining the causes of fires

    • Laboratories to examine fire residues
    • Laboratories to examine damage and faults at equipment, systems and plants
    • Using fire-tracker dogs
    • Locating companies that specialise in restoration after fire damage.

    The experts at DMT have investigated the causes of many fires and explosions in industrial and commercial settings. Listing our clients in this field is, due to legal restrictions, not possible at this point.