TYPE OF TESTS PERFORMED BY THE SFM FORENSIC LABORATORY
- Test For Ignitable Liquid (A)
Using gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS), lab examiners extract a profile(s) or characteristic pattern(s) of a detected ignitable liquid(s). Comparisons are made with a computerized library of collected reference liquids (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuels, etc.) analyzed under the same conditions. The ignitable liquid testing process includes analysis for light volatiles. Results are reported in accordance with the ASTM 1618 Ignitable Liquid Classification Guidelines. Extracts are catalogued
and returned to the investigation agency as evidence.
- Test For Explosive (E) And
Test For Fusee (F)
Analysts examine samples for suspected explosive or flare residue (fusee) remains using spectrophotometric, microscopic, chromatographic, X-Ray and wet chemical techniques. No live unexploded devices are accepted for analysis.
Use Test (E) for pressure bomb evidence.
- Elemental / Chemical Exam (J)
If the test requested does not fall under tests A, E, or F, this test may be requested.
Examiners will use an appropriate analytical technique to identify the substance. Please specify special circumstances in the remarks section.
- Latent Print Development (L)
Using different methods of development, lab examiners may lift or photograph latent impressions of value. If a latent print is recovered, it can be sent to a laboratory or agency for comparisons as directed by the submitting agent. You will be notified and asked to submit:
- Suspect(s) name, DOB and BCI or FBI number, if known.
- Inked impressions from suspect(s). Use Test (LS).
- Elimination Prints - Inked impressions from others who may have handled or touched the evidence. Use Test (LS).
If the recovered latent does not match one of the comparison cards, we will request it be searched through AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). If the search of AFIS does not produce a "hit", the prints will be returned to the investigator.
Sometimes you may find a need for a specific type of analysis that is not included in the listed tests to support your investigation. The space provided at the bottom of the submission form may be used to indicate that specific test. If we cannot perform the testing specified, we will recommend other options.
This may include tests for melting or boiling points, weights, measurements, miscibility, photos or visual examination.
- Comparison Of Unknown To Another Exhibit (X)
At the Investigator's request, one sample may be compared with that of another.
For example, an investigator may want to compare a suspected ignitable liquid that may have been found at the scene, purchased from vendor (reference liquid), or collected from a gas station with other exhibits in the case.
- Fire Matrix Comparison Samples
Matrices release hydrocarbons when exposed to heat or fire (pyrolytic products). This sample should be collected from unaffected or unburned areas of the same premises. If necessary, the analyst will burn and extract the sample for comparison purposes. (Use the A Test)
- Collection Matrix Samples
When items such as gauze pads are used to collect evidence for ignitable liquid or explosive analysis, an unused pad should be packaged and submitted with the case. If necessary, the analyst will extract the matrix sample for comparison purposes. (Use the A Test)