Recent tests carried out by Foster + Freeman have successfully illustrated how fire accelerants can be detected and identified using the Crime-lite range of forensic light sources.

Arson is the largest single cause of major fires in the UK with an estimated direct financial cost to the UK economy of more than £2.1 billion per year.

In many of these cases an accelerant will have been used in order to increase the rate at which the fire developed. The ability to identify such an accelerant can provide investigators with important information on where and how a fire was started; it may also give clues as to whether the fire was started with intent.

Using the Crime-lite® 8x4 photographic ring light in conjunction with the DCS-4 digital photography workstation it was possible to identify and photograph a selection of commonly available accelerants that had previously been applied to a white cloth and allowed to dry.

By employing the correct light settings and viewing filters it was possible to identify each accelerant by its fluorescent reaction. Illustrated results can be seen in the table below:

Crime-lite used to investigate arson