NYCLAC Report Standardization Project
Fire Debris - Ignitable Liquid
- Unique case identifier on each page of report (such as lab number)
- Title of the report (such as “report of laboratory analysis”)
- Identification of the laboratory
- Submitting Agency Info or at a minimum submitting agency
- List or explanation of items examined
- General indication of methodology utilized
- Date report issued
- Signature and title of examiner (or electronic equivalent)
- Pagination of the report (example page 1 of 2 etc.)
- Statement regarding the report does not constitute the entire case file or equivalent
- Statement that definitions of terms used in the report can be located at the DCJS website and if applicable on the laboratory website or attached to report
Additional Discipline Specific Report Components:
- Date of submission of evidence to the laboratory.
- Positive / Negative Qualifying Statement:
The identification of an Ignitable liquid / residue does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that a fire was incendiary in nature. The absence of an Ignitable liquid / residue does not preclude the possibility that ignitable liquids were present.
An ignitable liquid pattern(s) which is (are) comparable to the available reference(s) within ASTM E1618 ignitable liquid classification is (are) observed in an item.
The specific finding (ASTM class of ignitable liquid; gasoline, petroleum distillate, isoparaffinic product, aromatic product, naphthenic-paraffinic product, normal-alkane product, oxygenated solvent or miscellaneous) and range (light, light-medium, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, or the n-alkane range) is reported. The phrase “was identified” may be used.
Example(s) of commercial product(s) in the reported classification and range are given. (The examples may be given either through a statement as part of the finding or through providing the ASTM E1618 classification scheme or equivalent.)
Additional product information or qualifying statements may be provided.
Gasoline is a distinct class of ignitable liquid (no range or examples necessary).
Miscellaneous – reporting the miscellaneous classification as “miscellaneous” is not required.
- Mixtures of two or more products or blended single products comprised of components characteristic of two or more ASTM classes - the range(s) are reported as well as the corresponding two or more ASTM classification(s).Additional compound or product information may be provided.
- Single or few component products are reported based on single component(s) identified rather than ASTM classification (no range necessary, but may be reported). ASTM classification may be reported in addition to the identified components. Furthermore, examples are not required for single component identifications, but may be given. Additional compound or product information may be provided.
Positive Finding Special Circumstances:
Situations in which the identified ignitable liquid may be present as a constituent of the evidence sample itself (naturally occurring/used in manufacturing of item/or result of heating or burning of the material)
Note: Common interfering compounds resulting from inherent constituents of the evidence item, pyrolysis, combustion, or distillation of a substrate are not normally reported except when a significant quantity of an unexplainable product is identified. Derived from ASTM E1618 -11 section 18.104.22.168
Caution shall be used when reporting a positive finding if it is known that the submitted evidence sample itself may consist of a matrix which is known to contain an ignitable liquid of the type identified. Derived from ASTM E 1618-11 section 22.214.171.124.When a positive ignitable liquid finding is reported in situations in which it is known that the identified ignitable liquid may be a constituent of the evidence sample itself such as terpenes in wood, heavy petroleum distillate in newsprint/magazines, or toluene in shoes or other materials with adhesives, then a qualifying statement must be reported along with the positive finding.
The qualifier must indicate that the identified ignitable liquid may be present due to the evidence item itself (naturally occurring/used in manufacturing of item/or result of heating or burning of the material) , and therefore not necessarily from a foreign source.
There are numerous possibilities for special circumstances. Therefore specific qualifying statement wording will vary dependent on each individual case item circumstance.
Little or no response from the instrument or the response from the instrument could not be classified using the ASTM E1618 classification criteria.
Note: Common interfering compounds resulting from inherent constituents of the evidence item, pyrolysis, combustion, or distillation of a substrate are not normally reported except when a significant quantity of an unexplainable product is identified. Derived from ASTM E1618 -11 section 126.96.36.199.
"Ignitable liquids/or ignitable liquid residues were not identified" or "No ignitable liquids/or ignitable liquid residues identified."
Additional qualifying statements may be provided.
Presence or absence of ignitable liquid could not be determined (partial pattern match with unexplained differences possibly due to substrate interference masking part of chromatographic pattern, missing components [e.g., soil substrate] or low abundance).
“Testing for ignitable liquids and/or ignitable liquid residues was inconclusive”.
A qualifying statement must be reported along with the inconclusive finding.
The qualifier must indicate the reason for the inconclusive statement.
There are numerous reasons for inconclusive findings. Therefore specific qualifying statement wording will vary dependent on each individual case item circumstance.
Definitions of instrumentation used:
- GC – Gas Chromatography
- MS – Mass Spectrometry
Analytical instruments that use multiple technologies in tandem are indicated by through a combination of the abbreviations listed above, for example gas chromatography/mass spectrometry is abbreviated GCMS, GC/MS or GC-MS depending on the report software of the laboratory.
Comparison Sample (ASTM 1732 n — fire debris)
- a sample of material collected from a fire scene which is, to the best of the investigator’s knowledge, identical in every respect to a sample suspected of containing ignitable substance, but which does not contain ignitable substance;
- a sample of suspected ignitable substance submitted for the purpose of comparing with any ignitable substance separated from a debris sample. Limited to class comparison.
Control Sample (ASTM 1732 n)
Material of established origin that is used to evaluate the performance of a test or comparison.
Ignitable liquid found and classified according to ASTM E1618 identification criteria.
Little or no response from the instrument or the response from the instrument could not be classified using the ASTM E1618 classification criteria. Common interfering compounds resulting from inherent constituents of the evidence item, pyrolysis, combustion, or distillation of a substrate are not normally reported except when a significant quantity of an unexplainable product is identified.
A commercially produced item that is a variation of petroleum products or are derived from non-petroleum sources.
Not able to make a determination as to the presence or absence of an ignitable liquid/ ignitable liquid residue within the item of evidence analyzed.
Ignitable Liquid / Ignitable Liquid Residue (ILR)
Any liquid or the liquid phase of any material that is capable of fueling a fire, including a flammable liquid, combustible liquid or any other material that can be liquefied and burned. (NFPA 921 3.3.98). Ignitable liquid residue and ignitable liquid shall be considered the same for the purposes of reporting analytical results.