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Three Ways Transcriptions Can Aid Fire Loss Investigators


As a fire loss investigator, you know the critical importance of creating and keeping detailed records of your investigation. As any investigator who has been cross-examined by a lawyer waving a copy of NFPA 921 (sign-up required) knows, if your documentation isn't "by the book," you and your client will pay the price.

At Connecticut Secretary, Inc., we prepare transcripts for fire loss investigators. Here are three reasons our transcripts can aid your next investigation, as well as your career.

You Need "Thorough and Accurate Documentation"

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, says it all:

"Thorough and accurate documentation of the investigation is critical, because compilation of factual data is necessary to support and verify investigative opinions and conclusions." - NFPA 921, section 16.1.2.

To meet the de facto requirements of NFPA 921, a transcript from Connecticut Secretary, Inc. of the audio and/or video components of your investigative file may well be a necessary part of "thorough and accurate documentation" of your investigation. In short, the question isn't whether you need a transcript (you do), but rather, can you afford to risk not having one?

Quick Comparisons of Witness Statements to Fire Scene Observations

No doubt you've used a digital device to record witnesses interviews, as well as your and others' observations at the fire scene. Easy access to that information after-the-fact may be critical to keeping your investigation moving. For example, if a fire scene is at risk of spoliation (as many are), the time it takes to listen back through recordings to find a witness statement to compare to physical evidence, could mean the difference between getting your conclusions right and missing a case-changing detail.

With Connecticut Secretary, Inc. on your side, as soon as you've completed a digital recording, you can upload it to us and we will quickly turn it into an easily accessible transcript for you to review, allowing you to make the most of your time analyzing the fire scene.

Ready-Made Courtroom Evidence

As you probably know, lawyers love documents. A transcript satisfies that seemingly unending need lawyers have for something printed to introduce into evidence or show to a jury. It can also be a useful attachment to your final report, both to show that you have been thorough and to confirm that you have repeated statements accurately. And, if a witness makes a statement under oath, a transcript can be delivered to the witness to review and notarize.

To learn more about how Connecticut Secretary, Inc. can support your fire loss investigations, contact us today.

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