Course detail: Investigation and Analysis of Fire Scene Evidence

In this course, students will learn about the comprehensive case analysis of a fire scene, from the investigative beginnings, through the laboratory analysis of samples, to the potential courtroom. The class will be jointly instructed by members of both the State Fire Marshal's office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation laboratory. 

In the State Fire Marshal's portions, students will learn various methods used to identify potential evidence in a fire scene, the various methods required to collect the types of evidence frequently encountered at a fire scene, and steps to avoid spoliation/cross contamination of the evidence collected. These methods will also be discussed as a part of case studies that demonstrate some of the methods discussed during this course. 

 In the KBI laboratory portions, students will learn about the types of fire scene evidence testing (usually referred to as fire debris analysis) performed in the KBI Trace section, the proper packaging techniques for this type of exam, as well as the probative value that this type of evidence can bring to a case. In addition, the class will cover some "outside-the-norm" chemical reactions that generate heat, fire, and/or explosions, which could be used to start fires. 

Core Competencies: 
  • Participants will employ best practices as they investigate any crime from its beginning to its eventual disposition, either as an individual or as part of an investigatory team.
Course Objectives: 

  • Identify the procedures for protecting/controlling access to a crime scene. 
  • Identify crime scene protocol. 
  • Define chain of custody; identify its importance and procedures for maintaining chain of custody. 
  • Define cross-contamination/spoliation and identify ways to avoid them. 
  • Define secondary crime scene. 
  • Identify possible safety hazards at the scene. 
  • Identify proper methods for documenting the crime scene, including field notes, photographs, and sketches. 
  • Identify different search methods and when they may be appropriate. 
  • Identify proper methods of collecting, marking, and packaging evidence. 
  • Learn about the process of fire debris examinations conducted by the KBI 
  • Understand the types and significance of fire debris exam conclusions 
  • Understand the misperceptions and limitations of fire debris testing 
  • Acquire familiarity with supplies and equipment utilized for the collection of fire debris evidence, as well as quality measures to ensure evidence integrity. 
  • Fire debris collection, packaging, and submission hints 
  • Learn about heat-generating chemical reactions that could be used to start fires 

Instructional Methods:
  • Lecture
  • Hands-on training
  • Case example reviews

Fitness Level Necessary for Successful Completion: Somewhat Active

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in an event, please email KLETC  or call 620.694.1400  at least three weeks before the first day of the event. Some events may require notice earlier than three weeks and require you to contact a specific individual; if so, that information is provided in the event-specific information.

Notice of Availability of the KLETC Annual Security and Fire Safety Report:

The University of Kansas has determined that the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) main campus in Hutchinson and its regional sites in Dodge City, Hays, and Parsons are separate campuses. This determination was made in consultation with the Department of Education. The report is available online t:

The report contains information regarding campus safety and security including topics such as: campus law enforcement authority; crime reporting policies; campus alerts (Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications); fire safety policies and procedures; programs to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; the procedures the institution will follow when one of these crimes is reported; and other matters of importance related to security on campus. The report also contains information about crime statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred On-Campus; in On-Campus Student Housing Facilities; in Non-Campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the institution or a recognized student organization; and on Public Property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also contains fire statistics for any fires occurring in an On-Campus Student Housing Facility during the three most recent calendar years.

 A paper copy of the report will be provided upon request. If you would like to receive a paper copy, you can request that a copy be mailed to you by calling 785-864-6414 or emailing or arrange for pick-up at a KLETC location.

 Session Information: LE25079F

Schedule: Every day, starting on 10/15/24 and ending on 10/15/24
Times: 01:00pm-05:00pm CDT
No Registration Fee : $0.00


Participants are responsible for their travel, lodging, and meals.


Name Additional Resources
Eric Lawrence
Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Facility Detail

Overland Park Fire Training Center
12401 Hemlock Street
Overland Park, KS 66213