Fire Forensic

Fire Forensics Quiz Crafted by-

Deepshikha Singh

Senior Scientific Officer,

Sherlock Institute of Forensic Science

Introduction to Fire Forensics

Fire investigators conduct their investigations using a systematic approach utilizing the scientific method, including the following: When arsonists attack, there is very rarely much evidence left at the scene. However, arsonists usually use accelerants to speed up a blaze. Forensic scientists use technologies to heat samples taken from the scene causing any residue to separate. This sample is then analyzed to determine the chemical structure. Scientists also use other tests such as using liquid nitrogen gas to trap residue which are then analyzed using gas chromatography.

Depending on how much evidence is present, an investigator can use different approaches. Two techniques include the process of elimination or disregarding the causes that the evidence deems not possible. The second is to start investigating the most probable cause first until it is ruled unlikely.

Let's look at the questions and their answer.


Ques 1.  A chemical transformation in which heat energy is liberated is called as:

a) Endothermic reaction.

b) Exothermic reaction.

c) Combustion.

d) Mesothermic reaction.

Answer- b) Exothermic reaction.


Ques 2. If combustion is to be initiated and sustained, all of the following elements must be present except the:

a) Availability of oxygen.                                                    

b) Availability of fuel.

c) Elimination of carbon monoxide

d) Application of heat.                                                    

Answer- c) Elimination of carbon monoxide


Ques 3. A search of the fire scene must focus on:

a) Ascertaining whether or not a crime has been committed.                  

 b) Collecting trace evidence for later chemical analysis.

c) Finding the fire’s origin.                                                  

d) Estimating the value of monetary loss.

Answer- c) Finding the fire’s origin


Ques 4. The minimum amount of oxygen present in the surrounding atmosphere to initiate a fire is:

a) 5%                                                    

b) 16%

c) 8%                                                 

d) 10%

Answer- d) 10%


Ques 5. Non piloted ignition is also termed as:

a) Auto ignition                                                     

b) Coil on plug ignition

c) Spontaneous ignition                                                       

d) None of these

Answer- a) Auto ignition


Ques 6. Pattern of fire that are typically observed at the scene of arson:

a) 'V’ Pattern                                                  

b) ‘W’ Pattern 

c) ‘U’ Pattern                                                        

d) ‘M’ Pattern 

Answer- a) 'V’ Pattern


Ques 7. Partial combustion is when:

a) Oxidizer is present                                                     

b) Oxidizer is deficient

c) Oxidizer is absent                                                       

d)None of these

Answer- b) Oxidizer is deficient


Ques 8. Methanol burns with:

a) Blue Flame                                                       

b) Orange Flame

c) Red Flame                                                       

d) Yellow Flame

Answer- a) Blue Flame 


Ques 9. Which technique among the following is the most specific for the identification of ignitable liquids:

a) Thin Layer Chromatography                                               

b) UV-Visible Spectroscopy

c) Flame Test                                                       

d) Gas Chromatography

Answer- d) Gas Chromatography


Ques 10. Which organization endorses the use of properly trained dogs in Arson investigation

a) IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators)                 

b) IAIA (International Arson Investigators’ Association)

c) IIAA (International Investigators’ association for Arson)               

d) AIAI (Association for International Arson Investigators)

Answer- d) AIAI (Association for International Arson Investigators)


Ques 11. At a scene of fire, the debris containing accelerants should be packed in (give most appropriate answer):

a) Paper Bags

b) Large plastic bags

c) Large glass bottles

d) Unused paint cans which can be made airtight

Answer- d) Unused paint cans which can be made airtight


Ques 12. Kerosene normally boils in the range of

a) 350 °C – 450 °C

b) 150 °C – 250 °C

c) 750 °C – 850 °C

d) 550 °C – 650 °C

Answer- b) 150 °C – 250 °C


Ques 13. Decelerometer is an instrument that measures

a) Rate of burning in arson case

b) Speed of moving vehicle

c) Rate of denotation in explosion

d) Rate of decrease in speed of a moving vehicle as a brake testing instrument. 

 Answer-d) Rate of decrease in speed of a moving vehicle as a brake testing instrument. 


Ques 14. Most arson fires are started with:

a) Petroleum-based Accelerants.

b) Lead-based Paints.

c) An Oxidizing Agent.

d) Highly Unsaturated Oils.

Answer-a) Petroleum-based Accelerants


Ques 15. If combustion is to be initiated and sustained, all of the following elements must be present except the:

a) Elimination of Carbon Monoxide.

b) Availability of Oxygen.

c) Presence of Fuel.

d) Application of Heat.

Answer-a) Elimination of Carbon Monoxide.

Share on