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Identification of combustion accelerants in fires


IPT has specialized groups for on-site fire investigations, not only to ascertain the probable causes but also to determine whether combustion accelerants were used deliberately, which would indicate arson. The Fire Safety Laboratory (LSF) collects materials on site and sends them to the Chemical Analysis Laboratory (LAQ), which examines them carefully to identify the presence of compounds that can start a fire. Working jointly, the LAQ and the LSF investigate the presence of persons not involved in the activities of the company where the fire occurred.

The Institute has analytical instruments (chromatographs and mass spectrometers) and trained teams to identify substances that can cause this kind of incident. This work helps mainly insurance companies and government bodies to discover the causes of the accident, aiming to determine if arson was involved.