Fire Origin / Cause Investigations

With experience and data gathered from thousands of fire- and explosion-related investigations, Exponent assists its clients in evaluating failures and implementing preventive measures. Our team of Thermal Sciences engineers provides services in a wide array of engineering applications and problem-solving ranging from residential and vehicle fire analysis to the investigation of fires and explosions at chemical processing, petrochemical, manufacturing, and other industrial facilities. Our engineers also specialize in fluid flow evaluations, such as smoke and plume propagation modeling. We routinely assist our clients in solving their design challenges involving household, commercial, and industrial appliances, including heaters, furnaces, boilers, and turbines.

Exponent has investigated and analyzed thousands of fires and explosions, ranging from high-loss disasters to small insurance claims. Information gained from these analyses has assisted clients in assessing preventive measures related to the design of their products, as well as evaluating failures when they occur. Exponent has gained a worldwide reputation for our ability to mobilize resources expeditiously and efficiently, integrate a broad array of technical disciplines, and provide valuable insight that is objective and withstands rigorous scrutiny. 

Exponent provides fire and explosion investigation and prevention services nationwide. We combine state-of-the-art material characterization and testing methods, such as oxygen consumption calorimetry; ignition, flame spread, and combustion testing; chemical analysis; and fingerprinting with computer based modeling tools such as fire modeling and vented deflagration analysis to support our investigations. Staff from our Test and Engineering Center (TEC) in Phoenix, Arizona, perform large-scale fire and explosion testing. Our engineers and scientists keep up with current research and experimental methods to ensure that our clients have access to the best tools available. In addition to traditional fire investigation and computer-based tools, we routinely use innovative techniques such as 3D surveying methods, photogrammetry, video and image analysis, and three-dimensional computer animation to resolve and explain our clients’ toughest problems. 



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