# CTE Resource Center - Verso - Forensic Technology Task 359824335

CTE Resource Center - Verso

Virginia’s CTE Resource Center

Identify the signs of an accelerant-initiated fire.


Identification should include the following signs:
  • Eye witnesses to the fire's behavior (e.g., a sudden low-pressure wave or vacuum sound just before ignition, an explosion, rate of spread was extremely fast, burned downward, rolling flames, bright orange flame with black smoke, flames burning from the floor)
  • Areas of intense burn patterns
  • Accelerant odor and the presence of empty accelerant containers
  • Gaps in floor seams
  • Rainbow-colored sheen on wet surfaces
  • No discernible point of origin
  • An inverted-cone pattern on the walls

Process/Skill Questions

  • What types of accelerants are common to arson scenes?
  • What is arson?
  • What is a Molotov cocktail? How does it function?
  • What is the significance of finding an inverted-cone pattern on the walls?

Related Standards of Learning



The student will investigate and understand how conservation of energy and matter is expressed in chemical formulas and balanced equations. Key concepts include
  1. nomenclature;
  2. balancing chemical equations;
  3. writing chemical formulas;
  4. bonding types;
  5. reaction types; and
  6. reaction rates, kinetics and equilibrium.


The student will plan and conduct investigations using experimental design and product design processes. Key concepts include
  1. the components of a system are defined;
  2. instruments are selected and used to extend observations and measurements;
  3. information is recorded and presented in an organized format;
  4. the limitations of the experimental apparatus and design are recognized;
  5. the limitations of measured quantities are recognized through the appropriate use of significant figures or error ranges;
  6. models and simulations are used to visualize and explain phenomena, to make predictions from hypotheses, and to interpret data; and
  7. appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and probeware is used for gathering and analyzing data and communicating results.

Other Related Standards

ITEEA National Standards

10. The Role of Troubleshooting, Research and Development, Invention and Innovation, and Experimentation in Problem Solving


20. Construction Technologies