Presenting "Arc Mapping In Vehicle And Equipment Fire Investigation" at 2012 ISFI


Doug Stahl, PE, CFEI/CVFI will be presenting a paper on Applicability And Limitations Of Arc Mapping In Vehicle And Equipment Fire Investigation with co-author Kerry Parrott, BSME, CFI, CFEI/CVFI at the 2012 ISFI - International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology at the University of Maryland - University College, October 15-17, 2012. Check it out and register at


This paper and presentation deals with the lack of a scientific basis for applying the Arc Mapping fire investigation technique for fire origin determination, which is common in  structure fire investigation, to vehicles such as trucks, tractor-trailers, buses, step vans, etc. and commercial equipment such as agricultural tractors and combines, construction bulldozers and cranes, logging equipment, mining trucks and shovels, industrial chippers and forklifts, truck mounted drillers, sweepers, and the wide variety of other similar commercial equipment.  This is mainly due to the differences between the standardized 120/240 volt Alternating Current (AC) electric systems present in structures in the USA and vehicles and equipment which utilize non-standardized 12/24 volt Direct Current (DC) electrical systems with a shared, common, negative ground reference.