Investigating Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance Fires
An in-lab program exploring heating with solid fuels and the fires that can result
- October 9, 2013 – October 10, 2013
Tuition is $595 per person.
Register early! This class is limited to the first 45 students.
Held on site at the Fire Findings laboratory testing facility - 2026 Plaza Drive, Benton Harbor, Michigan.
40 minutes from South Bend (Ind.) or Kalamazoo (Mich.) airports and 2 hours from Chicago airports.
St. Joseph/Benton Harbor is located along the southern shores of Lake Michigan - a gorgeous area to visit.
People accustomed to the minimal maintenance of gas or electric heat have forgotten (or have never known) that solid fuel heating requires maintenance and correctly installed appliances. If not, fires are likely and investigators will be called upon to make sense of the remains. To assist investigators, enter Fire Findings’ newest in-lab class.
The home building boom of the past few decades brought about the installation of fireplaces in thousands and thousands of homes across North America. Now, homeowners pinching every penny are pressing those appliances into service as auxiliary heat in their homes. Others are turning to pellet or wood-burning stoves to supplement central heat or replace it altogether. It’s no surprise to experts in the field that a lot of fires involving the installation and/or use of these devices has resulted.
As a participant in “Investigating Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance Fires,” you’ll see how these appliances are intended to be used and installed. We’ve installed full-size chimneys in our lab that allow us to connect to a fireplace, pellet stove and wood-burning stove to operate them in our lab classroom. You'll get to check out the displays close up and see if you can find the numerous potentially fire-causing installation issues. You’ll also learn how manufactured chimney systems, both active and passive, function.
Optional CFI test credits and CEU credits available.
Gain useful information about these topics at the
‘Investigating Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance Fires’ seminar:
- Fireplace component names and functions.
- Site-built vs. manufactured fireplaces.
- Temperatures generated in operating solid fuel-burning appliances.
- Understanding the various types of chimneys for solid fuel-burning appliances, how they work and the importance of using the correct parts in the proper places. Also, the cleaning and inspection of chimneys.
- Obtaining information about manufactured fireplace installation requirements.
Fire causes involving:
- Clearance to combustibles;
- Installation issues – what the installer might have done to cause a fire, whether after a first use or many years later;
- Insulation and chimney fires – a prevalent cause of fireplace and woodstove fires;
- Flaming brands and flying embers.
In addition, you’ll:
- Observe fireplaces, wood-burning and pellet stoves in operation. Check the temperatures in hidden areas using our cutaway exemplar demonstrations.
- Learn more about the nature and possibilities of smoldering combustion and pyrolysis.
- Dissect interesting case studies that illustrate numerous fire-causing failures.
- Walk through the complex operation of today’s pellet stoves.
- Discover why pellet stoves are more likely to smoke up a home than burn it down. Plus, learn to understand why it happened.
- And, if all goes as planned, observe an insulation fire live in our laboratory classroom.
About Your Instructors
Jack L. Sanderson is a nationally known speaker on a wide variety of fire investigation topics. He investigated his first solid fuel-burning appliance fire nearly three decades ago and is a much-sought-after expert in cases involving potential litigation. As editor of Fire Findings, he authored numerous articles on the topic. He’s also an instructor for our long-running, “Investigation of Gas and Electric Appliance Fires” course and "Residential Electricity for Fire Investigators."
Sanderson, a certified fire investigator (CFI), has more than 30 years of in-the-field experience and brings his working knowledge as a former building inspector and “burner of wood for heat” to this session.
John Machnicki, head of Travelers Laboratories, is equally well known as an accomplished speaker with vast knowledge in numerous areas of fire investigation. He’ll join us to share what his laboratory has learned about solid fuel-burning appliance fires.
While you're visiting along the Lake Michigan shoreline...
The Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council has a visitor information packet just for Fire Findings’ seminar participants. To get yours,
call (269) 925-6301.
We recommend the Benton Harbor Holiday Inn Express for your hotel accommodations.
Holiday Inn Express is about 5 minutes from the lab and your stay includes a free “Fresh Start” breakfast, 2-line telephones and data ports in every room, an indoor pool and spa.
For $74 per night, choose from a room with 1 king or 2 double beds. King leisure suites, which also include a pullout sofa, microwave and refrigerator, are $94 per night. Add 8 percent tax.
To make your reservations, call the Benton Harbor Holiday Inn Express directly at (269) 927-4599.
(Please note: Reservations at our corporate rate may not be made on-line. Call (269) 927-4599 to obtain the special seminar rates. Mention you're with Fire Findings.)
The Holiday Inn Express is located at 2276 Pipestone Road, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022.
Hotel reservation deadline: 30 days in advance of the date of the seminar. First-come, first serve at this special rate. Don't wait too long to make your reservation after you've been confirmed for the seminar session of your choice.
IMPORTANT: Check conference availability before making your hotel, automobile or flight reservations. Please call us at (269) 925-2200 during regular business hours to confirm seminar openings.
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If not ...
Call Fire Findings: (269) 925-2200