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Vehicle Fire O&C Investigation Seminar in Puerto Rico

  • Salon Esteban Terrats Sede CIAPR Hato Rey Puerto Rico (map)

I am privileged to be offering this exciting seminar on May 19th at the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR). The 3-hour seminar will include discussions of the Scientific Method, Fire Science, Fire Dynamics, Vehicle Systems, and Scene/Vehicle documentation, among others. I will be sharing the different fire causes found during inspections on commercial, agricultural/farming, and mining vehicles and equipment, among others. These are all real world examples investigated over the last year, presented in case study format for their inherent value in helping other investigators understand what to expect and what to look for. They comprise a wide variety of causes, from mechanical and electrical to spontaneous heating.

The investigation of mobile property (vehicle) fires can be very complex due to the sheer variety of the machines and systems involved; the 2015 National Fire Incident Reporting System alone utilizes nine classification codes for mobile property, including passenger vehicles, transport vehicles, and heavy equipment, among others. In addition, continued advances in technology, such as emissions control devices, hybrid powertrains, high-capacity batteries, fire suppression systems, and exotic materials, can complicate the investigative process. In some forensic fields, such as the origin and cause determination of fires, an investigator will greatly benefit from direct field experience and awareness of different types of real world failures. When it comes to the examination of vehicle fires, the combination of a mechanical engineering background and fire investigation training also offers several advantages. When traditional fire origin indicators (such as fire patterns and effects) become less reliable (as in a fully involved vehicle), intimate knowledge of a vehicle’s systems can provide a unique perspective to help establish not just the area of origin, but also identify the cause of the fire.

Thursday, May 19th, 6 -9 p.m.


Hernan Mercado-Corujo, PE, CFEI, CVFIMechanical Engineer / Vehicles & Fire

For more information, and to register, visit CIAPR's website here.