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5/12/15

This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with additional ammunition to attack subrogation claims involving fire losses.

The Gharda case involves a warehouse fire with a complex causation theory involving testimony from several experts, including two fire investigators, two chemists, and an electrical engineer.  The fire investigators based their opinions on the opinions of the two chemists.

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Description

This recall involves Kaldi’s Coffee disposable paper cup sleeves used with 12- and 16-ounce paper cups. The black paper cup sleeves have the “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the company logo printed on the front, and “100% Recycled Paperboard” printed on the back.

 

Read the full article at CPSC

U.S. Fire Administration
October 2014 What is an E-Cigarette? The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.

 

What is an E-Cigarette?

The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.

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Introduction Forensic electrical engineering is the practical application of electrical engineering knowledge to legal questions about electrical phenomena. Practical electrical engineering knowledge is obtained from experience in designing, installing, maintaining and repairing electrical devices, appliances, and equipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions, and court testimony are used to explain electrical phenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges, and juries. The area of practice extends from software for computers to the generation and distribution of electrical power, which might be controlled by software, and to consumer products. The electrical engineer explains how the electrical software, equipment, or device functions normally and why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, or failed in this instance causing damage, financial loss, injury, or death. In some instances, the electrical engineer might be retained by a client to verify that electricity was not involved with the cause of a fire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electrical engineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, and optical knowledge to answer questions since the generation, distribution, and utilization of electrical power involves mechanical components, which can produce heat and light.

by Thomas P. Shefchick

Introduction

Forensic electrical engineering is the practicalapplication of electrical engineering knowledge tolegal questions about electrical phenomena. Practicalelectrical engineering knowledge is obtained fromexperience in designing, installing, maintainingand repairing electrical devices, appliances, andequipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions,and court testimony are used to explain electricalphenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges,and juries. The area of practice extends from softwarefor computers to the generation and distributionof electrical power, which might be controlled bysoftware, and to consumer products.The electrical engineer explains how the electricalsoftware, equipment, or device functions normallyand why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, orfailed in this instance causing damage, financial loss,injury, or death. In some instances, the electricalengineer might be retained by a client to verify thatelectricity was not involved with the cause of afire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electricalengineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, andoptical knowledge to answer questions since thegeneration, distribution, and utilization of electricalpower involves mechanical components, which canproduce heat and light.

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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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NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

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CFI

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The California Conference of Arson Investigators has patterned its CFI certification program after the State of California’s certification program with two major differences: 1) The CCAI – CFI program requires the applicant must stand for a written exam and 2) the CCAI-CFI certification requires participation in continued professional training.  To keep the certificate valid, a CCAI Certified Fire Investigator must attend 30 hours of approved tested training, or 40 hours of CCAI approved non-tested training or a combination of 40 hours tested and non-tested training every three years, from the date his or her certificate was issued.  The hourly training requirement can easily be met by attending two 20-hour CCAI training seminar’s within the three-year period.

To apply, a person does not have to be a member of CCAI; however it is strongly encouraged that everyone in the field of fire investigation belongs to the California Conference of Arson Investigators, the leading organization for training in fire and arson investigations in California.

To qualify, applicants must submit certificates of training showing that they have completed Fire Investigation 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and PC 832 or its equivalent.  If you already possess a Level II Fire Investigation Certification from the State of California, a copy of your certification certificate showing Level II will suffice to validate that you have met the training requirements mentioned above.

Applicants must also validate that they have had the overall responsibility of, and have investigated, 150 fires to determine fire origin and separately to determine fire cause.  They must also substantiate that they have testified twice, in court or in deposition (not in the same case), under oath, pertaining to the origin and cause of fires or in the field of explosions.  The testimony can be criminal, civil or from deposition but must be directly related to fire origin and fire cause or origin and cause in an explosion incident.  In lieu of actual court related testimony, the applicant may complete any one of the below listed courses.

The following courses/classes will meet or substitute for the criteria of the court room requirements:

  1. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF & E)  course on "Advanced Origin And Cause, Courtroom Techniques"
  2. The National Fire Academy (NFA) " course on Interview/Interrogation & Courtroom Techniques"
  3. The International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) " Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony  (Expert Witness Testimony Class offered by CCAI)

 

The question has risen, “If an investigator possesses a California State Fire Investigator II Certification, why would he/she have to verify again that he/she has investigated 150 fires and testified twice in court?”  It is the CCAI Board of Directors’ position that, if CCAI is going to certify an investigator, the person’s qualifications must be independently validated by CCAI using documents and under oath statements.

The initial application fee, if you are a CCAI member, is $150.00 and the certification is validated for three years.  Renewal of the CCAI-CFI certification, if you are a CCAI member, is $75.00 every three years.  If you are not a member of CCAI, the initial application fee is $300.00 and renewal is $150.00 every three years.

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Location

1279 North White Avenue 
Pomona, California 91768 
Phone:  (909) 865-5004
Fax (909) 865-5024 
8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Monday - Friday

 

 

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