Since many of our electrical and mechanical engineers are also certified fire investigators and are extensively familiar with fire patterns and damage, they work closely with our fire investigators to provide a comprehensive, technical examination that identifies the failure and assigns responsibility when and where possible. Additionally, in order to stay current with the latest analysis tools and techniques, we require that both our investigators and engineers maintain their certifications through regularly scheduled continuing education courses.
After we’ve isolated the fire’s origin and potential ignition sources, our engineers will conduct on-site or bench examinations of various components or systems to identify the nature of the failure, whether it resulted from a manufacturing or design defect, negligent installation or third-party liability. Our thorough evaluations strengthen any case from the causation side of the investigation and result in potential opportunities for recovery or policy defenses.
Our fire investigators rely on current industry standards and scientific principles to provide the factual basis to support our findings. An incendiary fire determination must be supported by the evidence and relevant facts developed through the use of sound methodology. Each hypothesis during the fire scene investigation must be tested down to the final hypothesis. The determination classification must be based on empirical research, not speculation. When our investigators determine that a fire was set intentionally, the proof will rest in the evidence.
We have the experience and resources to take the investigation to the next level. We’re trained in proper interview techniques, neighborhood canvassing, following paper trails and performing computer and courthouse records’ searches.
Our engineers, chemists and scientists can expertly identify, analyze and document all evidence collected, and process the findings in our in-house laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instruments.
Furthermore, we realize that the investigation does not end with an incendiary fire cause — it’s only the beginning — and our experts are prepared to take a file from assignment to the courtroom.
In these type cases, a reliable independent opinion can still be formed based on a comprehensive review of the known facts and evidence. Following proper methodology, testing of the stated theories can prove or disprove a final hypothesis or conclusion. One or more of our select groups of fire and scientific experts can assess the raw data, review the documentation and evidence that was used as the basis of a conclusion in a claimant’s technical expert’s report and conduct independent verification, resulting in an objective view of the cause and responsibility of a loss or claim.
Regardless of the original conclusions with the claimant, we can provide additional insight into the technical issues of a claim and a true assessment of the level of certainty. Additional review and investigation can also identify evidence or facts that may have been overlooked and/or not considered in original conclusions, even in the most complex incidents.
However, training and expertise can overcome the challenge resulting in a determination and assignment of responsibility in most cases. When trying to determine the cause and responsibility for a fire loss, it is important that the investigative team employs the proper methods and practices for an accurate and reliable determination. EFI Global’s well-trained and experienced investigators are committed to following the recognized industry standards in the investigative process and examination of fire scenes. EFI Global has found that by using sound methodology and a systematic approach, a more reliable conclusion of the origin and cause can be determined; one that will withstand the challenge of litigation. Increased industry guidelines and established legal precedence regarding fire investigation has made employing proper methodology through the scientific method of paramount importance.
We will always continue the tradition of assessing our procedures and practices to ensure they are current with the accepted industry standards, and our investigators continuously update their training and education to remain current with recognized practices and technology.
As a national company with global resources, we have an established network to communicate new ideas, findings and professional experiences, making us the industry leader both domestically and abroad.
Our level of expertise and training in accidental fire causes enables us to recognize, identify and document all issues of potential significance that could aid in the preservation and recovery of insurance funds. It is our goal is to provide an objective investigation, complete documentation and solid determination in order to optimize potential recovery through subrogation.
Whether exploring product defects, faulty workmanship or third-party liability, we’re always mindful that every fire cause is the result of an action or inaction. When the fire cause is determined to be the responsibility of another party, we will provide the evidence and testimony to support a subrogation action. This does not mean we set out to find subrogation, nor do the potential avenues of subrogation influence our decisions. We always allow the facts to speak for themselves.