Examining Electrical Receptacle Fires

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available a final technical report titled "Development and Analysis of Electrical Receptacle Fires".

Authors Matthew E. Benfer and Daniel T. Gottuk of Hughes Associates, Inc. write in the abstract: "Laboratory testing evaluated the impact of a range of variables on the formation of overheated connections in residential duplex electrical receptacles. The authors documented the damage to the receptacle, faceplate and outlet box, including any arcing, overheating or melting. Results of lab testing indicated that only the loosest connections tended to overheat significantly, regardless of other variables such as receptacle materials and installation. Researchers found that forensic evidence of overheating persists after a fire exposure. They identified and characterized this evidence and analyzed the characteristic indicators and locations of arcing and melting within receptacles as a result of fire exposure."

Click here to download the full report (PDF, 346 pages).

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Lifting Latent Fingerprints from Difficult Surfaces

ALMOST ANYONE can find, process, and lift a latent print that happens to be in a logical and obvious place like a door handle, a beer can, or a butcher knife. But sometimes, a latent print is not just sitting there in a logical and obvious place. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination to find the print and your skills to lift it.