Fire and Forensic Investigations
Fire Investigation: Fire investigation requires a complex combination of skills, experience, and equipment. At ATS, we complete investigative assignments in a thorough and timely manner. Our on-scene investigators, chemists, and Certified Fire Investigators (CFI) have the capability to investigate and determine the origin and cause of structural and vehicle fires. With any investigation, there is the possibility fire analysis may result in litigation; therefore, we approach and conduct each and every case thoroughly to make sure that our findings stand up against cross-examination in court. Vehicles contain numerous systems that are capable of acting as fuel or ignition sources for fires. Our standard vehicle fire inspection includes complete photography, sampling of vital fluids, and checking for signs of arson. When a fire incident occurs, it is imperative to examine the scene to procure evidence that may help reveal how the fire originated. A thorough analysis of the materials, structures, products, people, and component failures involved in the incident is the only means of accurately deriving conclusive results.
Products Liability: ATS has investigated the cause of injuries for insurance companies, manufacturers, as well as both plaintiff and defense attorneys. The Forensic Staff is often asked to determine the cause of an injury and provide a court worthy expert opinion. The in-house testing capabilities combined with our knowledge of engineering principles, safe design concepts, practical knowledge of both foreseeable use and foreseeable misuse enable us to provide sound scientific answers for our clients. Product failures can expose manufactures and distributors to unwanted publicity, costly recalls, or government-imposed fines. At ATS we also support general industry by providing technical assistance with design, testing and code compliance of their products.
Evidence Storage: Our facility houses a secure evidence storage area that is accessible only to select, qualified employees. This storage space is large enough to fit vehicles such as cars, trucks or small boats being held over the course of the litigation process. Our storage area is under 24/7 camera surveillance. Multiple employee authentication barriers stand between our dedicated storage area and the public, and the space itself is enclosed and prohibited to all non-qualified employees. ATS also has the capability to store evidence with specific preservation requirements, such as a biological sample. Depending on the sample type, our advanced equipment can simulate either a dry or a moist environment at a range of temperatures in order to best maintain the evidence.
Industrial Accident Investigations: The Forensic Staff investigates premise liability injuries and workplace injuries taking into consideration the applicable codes and standards, and well-established safety concepts such as the Design-Guard-Warn hierarchy. ATS combines our understanding of the underlying scientific and engineering principles with our knowledge of OSHA Regulations and Voluntary Standards to determine the cause of injuries.
Vehicle Accident Reconstruction: ATS has performed traffic accident reconstruction for Insurance Companies, Rental Companies as well as both Plaintiff and Defense Attorneys. Our investigators can document the accident scene using Forensic Mapping which captures the location of evidence, such as Area of Impact, Skid Length, Final Rest Positions and other key pieces of evidence which may become altered with time. Our investigators can also document the evidence associated with the vehicles involved in the accident, such as the crush profiles, download crash data information from the vehicle’s “black-box,” and perform vehicle component investigation/failure analysis. Our Marietta facility has a bay equipped with a 15,000 lbs. capacity vehicle lift, allowing for the proper inspection of vehicles from all angles, including the underside. We have on staff both electrical and mechanical engineers familiar with all major vehicle systems, and our vehicle fire specialist knowledgeable of all types of vehicles, including but not limited to trucks, agriculture, forestry and mining equipment.
Site Scanning: In terms of forensics investigations, preserving the quality of an accident scene or the evidence contained within is extremely critical. 3D Laser site scanning service is a relatively recent advancement that is becoming a common tool, which allows professionals to create real-time, 3D models of environments (accidents or fire scenes) using a series of scans that measure critical characteristics such as distance, spatial relations and contents of the site in the most accurate way possible. One of the major benefits of 3D laser scanning services ultimately comes down to the fact that it uses technology to quickly and accurately collect dimensions and data that would otherwise be difficult and costly to collect. Consider the example of a vehicle accident reconstruction, where under normal circumstances it would be necessary for investigative professionals to enter an active roadway in order to perform their normal duties. With 3D laser scanning services, they have the ability to collect and capture millions of data points concerning the accident site. After the scans are processed, the distances between items of interest within the scans can be accurately measured. A drone or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is another technique used for site mapping. Applied Technical Services UAV professional pilots are Part 107 FAA licensed. Because of the ability to reach particular areas that would be cost-prohibitive or otherwise inaccessible, UAVs are evolving as an optimal operational instrument for many services including environmental administration and monitoring, accident investigations and various types of inspections to name a few.