Pyro-Technical Investigations (PTI) is proud to support a broad range of clients throughout North America in the insurance, legal, transportation and manufacturing areas. We provide thorough, professional and unbiased investigations, along with clear and concise reporting, with findings our professionals are prepared to support throughout the litigation process. Our services include the following:

Fire and Explosion Investigation

There have been significant advancements in the field of fire investigation over the past 30 years. What started as an “art,” with knowledge handed down from person to person and often involving unsubstantiated approaches, has progressed into a science-driven profession.

Fire and explosions are extremely complex phenomena involving chemistry, physics, thermodynamics and other sciences. PTI’s highly trained investigators rely on the scientific method, tangible evidence and hypotheses that are supported by science to arrive at reliable and supportable conclusions regarding the origin, cause and responsibility for these events. Our experts have determined the origin and cause of thousands of incidents and have supported those findings throughout the litigation process.


Structure fires, including residential, commercial and industrial structures, can arise from a multitude of possible causes including faulty wiring, compromised appliances, gas leaks, lightning strikes, human error or intentional acts. PTI’s experts have the training in fire investigation and the technical knowledge of appliances, power and gas systems to properly and thoroughly investigate these losses in order to determine the cause and responsibility for an incident. Our engineers keep clients apprised of the status of the investigation by providing timely updates from the fire scene. Our written reports clearly communicate our findings and opinions to our clients.


Fires involving cars, trucks, buses, agricultural equipment and recreational vehicles can be caused by electrical problems, faulty mechanical systems, accidents or intentional acts. PTI’s experts have investigated numerous vehicular fires to determine if the cause is related to defective equipment, improper repairs, maintenance-related problems, electrical failures or other issues. PTI’s skilled engineers regularly update their training to keep abreast of the latest information in the continually evolving field of fire investigation.


Marine losses of personal watercraft, small pleasure craft, charter and commercial vessels are part of PTI’s experts’ knowledge and experience. Whether the investigation involves electrical or mechanical systems, PTI can provide the expertise required to analyze those issues particular to marine equipment and the unique requirements of marine applications. Many losses require a prompt response to ensure that the scene and all associated evidence are properly secured and maintained. At PTI we provide 24 hour telephone coverage and are prepared to meet your response needs.

Appliance Evaluations

Appliances of all size and types are the reported cause of fire and water losses. A thorough evaluation of these appliances can assist in determining if the loss was the result of a product defect, improper repair, improper installation or user error. PTI’s engineers have conducted thousands of appliances examinations, both on-site and in the laboratory. At PTI we maintain a fully equipped laboratory to perform comprehensive evidence inspections.

Electrical Evaluations

An essential step in any fire investigation is a detailed assessment and documentation of the electrical system of a building or vehicle. Many fire losses are reported to be the result of an electrical malfunction. At PTI our qualified engineers have extensive experience in the evaluation of many types of electrical systems in residential, commercial and industrial settings. Lightning strikes can have far reaching impacts. Our experts provide prompt scene evaluations of residential and commercial electrical systems including fixed wiring systems and larger switchgear to assess potential lightning damage. Electrocutions and electric shock incidents require the knowledge, training and experience that our experts bring to all of our investigations.

Litigation Support

PTI brings over 30 years of courtroom experience to the comprehensive and independent review of expert reports, providing valuable insights as to the strengths and weaknesses of each incident. Our experts have conducted numerous case reviews, identifying the valid conclusions, unsupportable allegations and the failure to properly follow applicable standards, including adherence to NFPA 921. Our engineers educate and prepare the attorney or adjuster regarding all technical matters involving fire, product liability and other types of disputes.

Fire Modeling

Fire modeling provides a cost-efficient method for comparing and assessing the opposing expert theories of a fire loss. PTI’s engineers use Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), a fire modeling program developed by fire researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The computer fire models simulate fire progression and other fire phenomena that can be used to create excellent visual aids to illustrate to a jury the progression of the fire.

Sprinkler/Extinguishing System Failures

A business can experience a devastating loss from a failure of an extinguishing system to operate or the unintended discharge of a system. PTI’s engineers have the knowledge and experience to evaluate sprinkler and extinguishing systems to determine failure modes, such as freezing and fracture of fittings in dry pipe systems, failure to discharge or unintended discharge of kitchen hood systems resulting from product failure, improper/lack of maintenance, or faulty repairs.


Our engineers are available for seminars, webinars and training sessions on subjects including fire/explosion investigation, appliance evaluation, electrical systems/failures and an engineer’s perspective on subrogation issues.