Recovery of fingerprints from arson scenes: Part 1 - Latent fingerprints

Georgina Bradshaw, Stephen Bleay (Lead / Corresponding author), Jack Deans, Niamh Nic Daeid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports a study into the recovery of fingerprints from fire scenes. The work aims to establish the range of temperatures and exposure times for which latent fingerprints can survive exposure and the best practice for soot removal and subsequent fingerprint development. Tests carried out in a laboratory demonstrated that several current fingerprint development processes continue to develop marks after prolonged exposure of the print at 200°C. Above this temperature, marks can still be developed, but the choice of processes is much more limited. Articles were also subjected to simulated fire environments and it was further demonstrated that a range of soot removal processes could be successfully applied and marks subsequently developed. The best performing soot removal techniques included lifting tape, silicone casting compound, and Absorene. For development of marks on nonporous surfaces, black powder suspension was particularly effective, whereas the best technique for porous surfaces was physical developer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-82
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Forensic Identification
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Recovery of fingerprints from arson scenes: Part 1 - Latent fingerprints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this