Fire and Explosion Investigation

What will I learn?
This course, now in its thirty-sixth year, aims to provide a large part of the scientific knowledge and understanding needed in fire investigation within the framework of the new relevant legislation.

Example calculations and scientific analyses and case studies will be used by the speakers to demonstrate clearly the application and significance of science principles in fire investigation.


How will I benefit?
The syllabus of the course covers the breadth and far exceeds the depth of the subjects required for The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) membership Examination Paper: Fire Investigation.

You’ll receive teaching from a large team of academic and industrial specialists, all experts in their particular fields of contribution. Over the five days, academics and external consultants will provide a mix of presentations and a large range of case studies and scenarios.

You’ll receive substantial course materials to take away. Not all the notes will be covered during the lectures due to time constraints; these will be included as additional reading materials.

This course also forms part of an MSc Masters programme (full time or part time) in Fire and Explosion Engineering.

The 2017 course programme and leaflet will be available approximately 3 months prior to the course. However, you can view and download the 2016 course details for further information by clicking the course leaflet and course programme link. 

Day 1: Principles of fire investigation with case studies

  • Legal implications of fire investigation
  • Management of fire investigation and collection of information
  • The effects of firefighting operations on fire investigations
  • Heat transfer, ignition and flame spread
  • Burning rates, fire plumes.

Day 2: Fire science and engineering fundamentals

  • Stoichiometry, passive fire protection and air supply, fire load, estimation of fire heat release
  • Laboratory analytical techniques for the detection of accelerants used in arson fires
  • Compartment fires
  • The interaction of insurance with fire investigation
  • Fire and explosion experience in industrial and commercial fires
  • Vapour/gas explosion fundamentals with case studies including fuel tank vapour explosions.

Day 3: Post-fire data analysis and modelling and its use in fire protection

  • Fire investigation as a source of data for safety design
  • Fire modelling in support of fire investigation with case studies
  • Fire investigation scenario.

Day 4: Specialist fires

  • Fire investigation case studies – lessons learned
  • Vehicle fire investigation
  • Electrical fires
  • Spontaneous ignition
  • Hickson and Welch fire and other case studies
  • Forensic pathology as an aide to fire investigation.

Day 5: Explosion investigation

  • Types of explosions
  • Bleves
  • Electrostatic ignition hazards
  • Explosion investigation: estimation of overpressures from structural damage and missile path length
  • Explosion investigation incidents
  • Hazardous area classification – principles and pitfalls.


This is a course for anyone in the national and international community of stakeholders in fire investigation. It’s particularly relevant if you’re a:

  • fire fighter or investigator
  • forensic scientist
  • public prosecutor
  • coroner
  • police officer
  • scene of crime officer
  • health and safety executive staff member
  • insurer
  • local authority staff member
  • fire safety and security consultant.

"Excellent course covering investigation processes and the causes of fire and explosions. Provides a good overview of the subject." Aedis Group

"The course opened my eyes to some of the techniques used for investigative fires" Magnox Limited

"A very good and thoroughly interesting course" Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

"A wide ranging and eye opening course that left me more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about fire and explosion engineering" EDF Energy

This course has been approved for 33.5 continuing professional development (CPD) hours by The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

The Energy Institute has approved the University of Leeds – Faculty of Engineering – as an Approved Training Provider.

Full five days: £TBC

Any one day: £TBC

Fees include:

  • cost of tuition
  • course materials
  • lunches
  • light refreshments

15% discount for members of The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

Weetwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel
Otley Road
LS16 5PS

The course will take place at the Weetwood Hall Hotel and Conference Centre, which is situated to the north of Leeds at the junction of the A660 Leeds - Skipton road and the A6120 Outer Ring Road.

Any accommodation requests should be made direct with the hotel and will be subject to availability and rates.​​

Jenna Kellett + 44 (0)113 343 2494

CPD Conference and Events Unit
Faculty of Engineering,
University of Leeds,