Fire scenes are dangerous, especially for fire investigators.
Investigators need to be wary of biologic and toxic hazards at scenes. Fire debris contains many different chemicals, gases and particles that are dangerous. Those can be present when a fire investigator arrives on the scene even hours after the fire is out.
Investigators are urged to wear personal protective equipment when on the scene. Exposure to irritants can cause acute effects and carcinogens can leave chronic effects. Statistics show that investigators do not routinely use any type of respiratory protection and investigators are typically at more fire scenes than most firefighters who wear the proper equipment at all times when fighting a fire.
With more and more man-made materials being used, it important that investigators stay safe.
Homeowners are at risk of these same issues if they return to the scene of a fire. Stay away until the area has been cleared by fire personnel.