ASTM E1388 - 12

    Standard Practice for Sampling of Headspace Vapors from Fire Debris Samples

    Active Standard ASTM E1388 | Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    ASTM E1388

    Significance and Use

    This procedure is particularly useful for screening fire debris samples to determine relative ignitable liquid concentrations and possible ignitable liquid class prior to extraction with other techniques.

    This practice is useful when volatile oxygenated products such as alcohols or lacquer thinners are suspected.

    This practice is the least sensitive of the sample preparation techniques and may not detect quantities of less than 10 μL of an ignitable liquid.

    Because this separation takes place in a closed container, the sample remains in approximately the same condition in which it was submitted. Repeat and interlaboratory analyses are therefore possible.

    Due to variables in the debris sample condition prior to headspace sampling, complete reproducibility of chromatograms may be difficult to obtain.

    To obtain greater reproducibility, use one of the separation procedures which results in a solution of the ignitable liquid residue (see Practices E1386, E1412, and E1413).

    To obtain greater sensitivity for petroleum distillates and oxygenated products, use solid phase microextraction. (See Practice E2154.)

    High concentrations of highly volatile compounds may swamp the headspace, inhibiting the recovery of less volatile components.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice describes the procedure for removing small quantities of ignitable liquid vapor from samples of fire debris by sampling the headspace of the debris container.

    1.2 Separation and concentration procedures are listed in the referenced documents. (See Practices E1386, E1412, E1413, and E2154.)

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E1386 Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Solvent Extraction

    E1412 Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration With Activated Charcoal

    E1413 Practice for Separation and Concentration of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Dynamic Headspace Concentration

    E1459 Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation

    E1492 Practice for Receiving, Documenting, Storing, and Retrieving Evidence in a Forensic Science Laboratory

    E1618 Test Method for Ignitable Liquid Residues in Extracts from Fire Debris Samples by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

    E2154 Practice for Separation and Concentration of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME)


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.220.99 (Other standards related to fire protection)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E1388-12

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