Typically, Dallas Fire-Rescue
responds to about 2,000 structure fires each year. Several
hundred of these are determined to be arson fires and damage
estimates are over $20 million. Over 1,000 arson vehicle fires
are investigated and each year, an average of 15 people lose their
lives as a result of fire.
The Department is committed to
reducing the loss of lives and property from fire through
aggressive investigation and criminal prosecution. This goal can
be enhanced with the implementation of the Accelerant Detection
Canine to address today’s arson threat to the general public and
to assist the fire investigator in the collection of field samples
for lab analysis.
ACCELERANT DETECTION CANINES
Canines can pinpoint traces that
escape electronic detection. Mechanical hydrocarbon detectors are
sensitive to gasoline components in parts per million (ppm). The
smallest amount detectable by dogs is .01 micro liters, or 1,000th
of a drop, of 50% evaporated gasoline, 100% of the time. Also, a
canine can differentiate between products of combustions and
similar chemical gases found at fire scenes from true accelerants,
which mechanical detectors cannot.
Canines are more adaptable and
more accurate than mechanical equipment. This accuracy can help
pinpoint the location of accelerants in a shorter time, thereby
reducing the field time of investigators searching and processing
a fire scene. The use of canines can reduce the number of samples
that need to be collected and tested. It is also documented that
samples submitted from canine teams for laboratory analysis result
in a positive test for ignitable liquids over 90% of the time,
compared to 30% for the investigators alone.
Read about Ashly
in Fire Dog Heroes