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APRIL 7-12 2024


Observational Indicators of Enhanced Soot Deposition on Smoke Alarms in Forensic Investigations

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (3:20pm - 5:00pm) (Celebrity 1 - 3)

The presence or lack of enhanced soot deposition (ESD) on smoke alarms can be leveraged by fire investigators to determine if a smoke alarm activated and provided audible notification during a fire event. This course will begin with a review of residential smoke alarms and typical anatomy. The validated methodology for examining smoke alarms for ESD will be discussed with recommended examination and documentation techniques. The course will culminate with case studies and interactive photo-examinations.


Jonathan Butta

Jonathan Butta, P.E. currently works as a Fire Research Engineer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Fire Research Laboratory (FRL), located in Beltsville, MD. He graduated from the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland with a Bachelor's of Science degree in May, 2012, and a Masters of Engineering in December of 2017. Jon has worked for the ATF FRL for eleven years, assisting with forensic laboratory fire testing and investigations. Jon is also a member of the ATF National Response Team (NRT), responding to large loss fire events nationwide. 

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