Volume 39, Issue 6 (November 1994)

    Evaluation of Canines for Accelerant Detection at Fire Scenes

    (Received 25 June 1993; accepted 18 May 1994)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    In recent years, canines have been successfully used in fire investigations to detect accelerant residues. We set out to determine the lower limits at which canines could reliably detect potential accelerants. Measured amounts ranging from 10 to as little as 0.01 μL of gasoline, kerosene, and isopars were applied to preselected spots along a continuous sample path (25 to 40 feet long) made out of burned and unburned wood or nylon carpeting strips at the testing site. Two canines were led past this sample path at least three times and positive alerts and negative responses were recorded. Both dogs were generally able to alert on spots containing 0.01 μL or more of all three accelerants, at or beyond the purge and trap recovery and gas chromatographic detection method employed. The canines did alert occasionally on background, especially that containing traces of styrene residues, either purposely added in specific amounts or formed upon partial pyrolysis of carpeting material. The dogs alerted on sites containing 0.1 to 1.0 μL of freshly applied gasoline or kerosene placed at actual heavily damaged fire scenes, but were less successful on samples containing smaller amounts.


    Author Information:

    Glover, B
    Special Agent, Division of Arson Investigation, Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office, Springfield, IL

    Tankersley, D
    Special Agent, Division of Arson Investigation, Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office, Springfield, IL

    Hartke, G
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Augustiniak, J
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Lange, J
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Marcouiller, J
    Forensic Scientist III, Trace Chemistry Section, Illinois State Crime Laboratory, Morton, IL

    Broadus, K
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Kurz, ME
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Billard, M
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Larsen, M
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Rettig, M
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Bora, R
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Warrick, R
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

    Mohns, T
    Professor and undergraduate students, Illinois State University, Normal, IL


    Stock #: JFS13740J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13740J

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    Author
    Title Evaluation of Canines for Accelerant Detection at Fire Scenes
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30