An advanced range of lightweight handheld PID detectors by Ion Science, available from Air-Met Scientific Pty Ltd is being effectively used in arson investigation processes.
The Ion Science FirstCheck+ multi gas detectors are designed to detect residual traces of the accelerant in fires involving flammable hydrocarbon accelerants such as petrol or kerosene, providing vital information as part of the arson investigation.
As a supplementary tool, the latest PID detectors offer almost identical sensitivity to hydrocarbon accelerants as trained dogs, which can detect residual accelerants at levels down to parts per billion (ppb) and can also be trained to distinguish between accelerants and other hydrocarbons.
Arson is responsible for countless millions of dollars’ worth of damage as well as loss of hundreds of lives each year. Trained dogs are traditionally used to sniff out minute residual traces of accelerant that could have started the fire but also have their own drawbacks.
Olfactory fatigue is one of the primary disadvantages of using trained dogs in arson investigation due to which they can no longer distinguish the chemicals after about 20 minutes at the scene of a fire.
Additionally, a dog may only work with a specific handler or even be overwhelmed in the commotion of a large-scale investigation, limiting its effectiveness. Besides, training and maintaining a highly skilled dog is an expensive and time-consuming process.
Modern PID detectors are capable of picking up hydrocarbon concentrations as low as 1ppb and can identify the high quantities of hydrocarbon that would be typical of residual accelerant in a fire, trace it to its highest point of concentration and even trace the extent of accelerant.
Key features of Ion Science FirstCheck+ ppb multi gas detectors:
- Combines VOC detection with explosive gas (LEL) sensors
- Multi gas sensors detect oxygen, hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide and explosive gases using a highly sensitive PID detector
- Provides superior resistance to humidity, due to its unique Fence Electrode Technology
- Highly sensitive and accurate PID accurately detects hydrocarbons from 1ppb to 10,000ppm