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Fire Scene Evidence Collection Guide


This section details how to properly locate, document, collect, label, package, store, and preserve fingerprints during fire scene evidence collection and for subsequent use in testing or legal proceedings. By definition, fingerprints are made upon contact with a substrate, so the type of substrate (non-porous, porous, pliable) plays a role in the collection procedure. In addition, other types of evidence may be found concurrently with the fingerprint, such as touch DNA or bodily fluids. Multiple evidence types on the same item can complicate the analysis and thus the fire scene evidence collection process, so consult your laboratory for guidance. Collecting, packaging, and transporting fingerprints and other associated evidence must be done properly or the print (or other evidence) may be damaged or altered in a way that negatively impacts their evidentiary value. Follow the procedures in this section to implement fire scene evidence collection best practices for fingerprints. If you are unsure which fingerprints fire scene evidence collection procedure to use or do not have sufficient experience to execute the procedure, consult your laboratory prior to collection.


Select a type of evidence to review its collection and packaging procedures.

Remember to also review the Checklists prior to collection and prior to releasing the scene.

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