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During the course of my 17 plus years investigating fire losses in the private sector, I have made some observations that I am compelled to share.  During recent years, I have noticed a trend of engineers attending a 5-day class and then receiving a certification as a “Certified Fire Investigator”.  Sounds good.  We all like to throw around the letters we have earned after our names.  The only problem is not all of the individuals that attain this type of certification have very much experience in the totality of investigating a fire scene.

From Out of the Abyss...

This week's article is from the January 1960 Vol VI, No. 2 issue of the California Conference of Arson Investigators newsletter and was written by Richard Newsome.  Richard was a Special Agent in charge of the Los Angeles Branch Office - National Automobile Theft Bureau.  The subject of this article was presented at the Arson and Fire Investigations Seminar, June 17, 1959 at the University of California - Los Angeles.

Automobile Fires Today 


This recall involves gas-powered Poulan Pro Generators designed for residential use. Models included in the recall are: PP4300, PP6600, PP6600E and PP7600E, all serial numbers. The generator's model number can be found on the front of the fuel tank on the Serial Number Plate. The generators are black and marigold color, measure 21.5" H x 26.6" L x 21.3" range from 4.4 to 7.6 KW with two handles and two wheels.

Read the details at CPSC.


This recall involves Rival brand electric water kettles with model numbers WK8283CU and WK8283CUY.  The model numbers are printed on a product label on the underside of the water kettle. The white plastic water kettles were sold with a warming base and a pitcher. A window on the side pitcher has markings that measure the water levels. “Rival” is printed beneath the window.

See the details at CPSC.


This recall involves Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Snow Blowers. Item number RY40802 is printed on the data label on the back of the blowers. The snow blowers are black and green with two LED lights located on the front of the unit and are approximately 22 inches wide by 43 inches tall. “RYOBI” is printed on the front of the snow blowers. The models included in this recall are RY40802, RY40802A and RY40822. The model numbers are printed on the packaging. “40 V” is printed on each side of the snow blowers.

Go to CPSC for more details.

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.


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