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Fire Scene Evidence Collection Guide

Ignitable Liquid Residue & Fire Debris

This section details how to properly locate, document, collect, label, package, store, and preserve ignitable liquid residue during fire scene evidence collection and for subsequent use in testing or legal proceedings. Ignitable liquid residue evidence can be deposited on many substrates, including baseboards, cardboard, carpet, tile, concrete, fire debris, linoleum, soil, and wood flooring and stair treads. Ignitable liquids can also be found in containers and in pools on non-porous and semi-porous surfaces. Key factors in determining which fire scene evidence collection procedure should be used for ignitable liquid residue include the substrate and whether the liquid is pooled on or soaked into a substrate. Ignitable liquids collected in liquid form, such as from a pool or container, should be collected using a liquid collection procedure, not in a metal can like for fire debris. Collecting, packaging, and transporting ignitable liquid residue as evidence must be done properly or vapors may escape and the sample lose its value. Follow the procedures in this section to implement fire scene evidence collection best practices for ignitable liquid residue. If you are unsure which ignitable liquid residue 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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