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APRIL 7-12 2024


The Heat is On: Electric & Gas Dryer-Related Forensic Investigations

Friday, April 12, 2024 (8:00am - 12:00pm) (Celebrity 6 - 8)

Effective investigation via understanding of specific products can expose design defects and force safety improvements via product recalls, changes to standards, and litigation. This presentation will provide various categories of information specific to the investigation of clothes dryers, which cause approximately 15,000 fires every year. Beginning with the fundamentals of how dryers operate and explaining potential failure modes found during lab exams will provide public investigators with insight on how dryers might cause fires beyond the expectation that it is just a lint fire. Installation requirements in building codes and manufacturers will assist with both subrogation considerations and also code compliance. Demonstrative videos will show the audience how fires are initiated, grow and spread from these appliances. Current trends in spontaneous ignition of laundry will also provide attendees with additional data to consider when forming cause hypotheses. And finally, the application of safety engineering and risk management will be applied to fuel thought as to who is ultimately responsible for these types of fires.

Michael Stoddard.jpg

Michael Stoddard

Michael Stoddard is a Managing Partner and Fire & Engineering Analyst with Genesis Forensics, Inc., in Massachusetts. Michael has been a fire investigator for the insurance and legal communities for over 20 years and is certified IAAI-CFI and NAFI-CFEI. He has his Master of Engineering in Advanced Safety Engineering & Management and holds undergraduate degrees in Fire Investigation, Criminal Justice, and Electromechanical Technology. Probably most well known as a clothes dryer fire and design expert across the U.S., he has handled over a thousand clothes dryer fires and testified in over 30 depositions and three trials related to dryer. Michael will share his expertise in the field of origin and cause investigation, engineering analysis, fire hazard analysis and safety engineering for the discussion of clothes dryer fire investigations.

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