Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM E1618-06e1

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

Significance and Use

The identification of an ignitable liquid residue in samples from a fire scene can support the field investigator’opinion regarding the origin, fuel load, and incendiary nature of the fire.

4.1.1 The identification of an ignitable liquid residue in a fire scene does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that a fire was incendiary in nature. Further investigation may reveal a legitimate reason for the presence of ignitable liquid residues.

4.1.2 Due to the volatility of ignitable liquids and to variations in sampling techniques, the absence of detectable quantities of ignitable liquid residues does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that ignitable liquids were not present at the fire scene.

Materials normally found in a building, upon exposure to the heat of a fire, will form pyrolysis and combustion products. Extracted ion profiling and target compound identification techniques described herein may facilitate the identification of an ignitable liquid in the extract by reducing interference by components generated as products of pyrolysis.


1.1 This test method covers the identification of residues of ignitable liquids in extracts from fire debris samples. Extraction procedures are described in the referenced documents.

1.2 Although this test method is suitable for all samples, it is especially appropriate for extracts that contain high background levels of substrate materials or pyrolysis products. This guide is also suitable for the identification of single compounds, simple mixtures, or non-petroleum based ignitable liquids.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.1520/E1618-06E01
ICS Code: 13.220.99