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Fire Scene Evidence Collection Guide


This section details how to properly locate, document, collect, label, package, store, and preserve paint during fire scene evidence collection and for subsequent use in testing or legal proceedings. Paint can be found in liquid or dried form. Liquid paint can be in a container, dripped or dropped on substrate, or pooled. Dried paint can be adhered to a substrate in a uniform coat, as a smear or drip or drop, or as a loose chip or particle. Key factors in determining which fire scene evidence collection procedure should be used for paint include whether the paint is dry or liquid, whether it is adhered to a substrate and if that substrate is moveable or could be cut away from a larger piece, and whether a container is involved. Paint can also bear other types of evidence suitable for analysis, including impressions, toolmarks, burn patterns, fingerprints, and DNA. Consult your laboratory to discuss the possibilities. Follow the procedures in this section to implement fire scene evidence collection best practices for paint. If you are unsure which paint 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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