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What makes a good arson detector?

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  • What makes a good arson detector?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking into selling a new arson detection unit called the Pragmatics Trooper 2. I've never sold arson detection nor have I worked much with Fire Marshalls. I have a lot of fire chiefs and departments as customers currently for gas detection and calibration, but arson is a new area for me.

    What makes a good arson detection unit to you? Are machines more efficient or are dogs more likely to spot an accelerant? The unit we're looking at has a flashlight built in, is combing around at night really that much of an issue that this is a feature we could highlight?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me,

    James Moore
    [email protected]
    James Moore
    http://www.idealcalibrations.com
    ----
    "It's still alarming, how do I get it to stop?"
    "Have you tried getting your *** out of the god $#@!$# building?"

  • #2
    Originally posted by JamesIdealCal View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking into selling a new arson detection unit called the Pragmatics Trooper 2. I've never sold arson detection nor have I worked much with Fire Marshalls. I have a lot of fire chiefs and departments as customers currently for gas detection and calibration, but arson is a new area for me.

    What makes a good arson detection unit to you? Are machines more efficient or are dogs more likely to spot an accelerant? The unit we're looking at has a flashlight built in, is combing around at night really that much of an issue that this is a feature we could highlight?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me,

    James Moore
    [email protected]
    Let me tell you something as honestly and succinctly as I can...

    I purchased a Prgamtics unit back in the 90's for our ionvestigation unit. It was a POS. We returned it, demanded and recieved a full refund. Our experience was not unique. Their reputation is not that good.

    Couple that with the change in the fire investigation culture. There is much more stock put on the scientific aspect of investigation instead of the artifiact way that alot of investigators used to conduct investigations. I truthfully see little market for your unit. I hope you are not planning on feeding your family with the commission.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's the first bad review I've heard it given, thank you. May I ask specifically what didn't work on it?

      Couple that with the change in the fire investigation culture. There is much more stock put on the scientific aspect of investigation instead of the artifiact way that alot of investigators used to conduct investigations.

      Can you do me a favor and further elaborate here for me? I'm not 100% certain as to what you mean by scientific aspect. Lab testing?

      I truthfully see little market for your unit. I hope you are not planning on feeding your family with the commission.

      Thankfully our main business is the manufacture of calibration gas/sales of gas detection equipment (family business), we were just looking at picking this up as another item and had originally heard some good things about it. Thanks for the input!!

      James Moore
      http://www.idealcalibrations.com/
      James Moore
      http://www.idealcalibrations.com
      ----
      "It's still alarming, how do I get it to stop?"
      "Have you tried getting your *** out of the god $#@!$# building?"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JamesIdealCal View Post
        That's the first bad review I've heard it given, thank you. May I ask specifically what didn't work on it?

        Couple that with the change in the fire investigation culture. There is much more stock put on the scientific aspect of investigation instead of the artifiact way that alot of investigators used to conduct investigations.

        Can you do me a favor and further elaborate here for me? I'm not 100% certain as to what you mean by scientific aspect. Lab testing?

        I truthfully see little market for your unit. I hope you are not planning on feeding your family with the commission.

        Thankfully our main business is the manufacture of calibration gas/sales of gas detection equipment (family business), we were just looking at picking this up as another item and had originally heard some good things about it. Thanks for the input!!

        James Moore
        http://www.idealcalibrations.com/
        Are you kidding me? Why would you try to sell something that you know nothing about?
        PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

        Comment


        • #5
          The point

          The point of the exercise with me interviewing fire insurance investigators, fire marshals, and posting questions like, "What makes a good arson detector?" On a public forum filled with extremely knowledgeable people was the part that is filling the gap, as well as training with different instruments, etc.

          I'm curious what I've done here to excite you so much? All I asked was what specifically made the unit so bad for you. Did it alarm at things like running water and smelly socks? Did it not detect accelerants when they were present? Did the batteries not last long enough? Was it just a clunky POS to carry around?

          The assumption that every item sold by a company they have to be an expert in the field for is a bit unreasonable if you ask me. Especially when the person in question (me) is doing the best he can to find the experts in the field and learn from them.

          I've been doing gas detection for years, and the assumption that I know nothing at all about the instrument is completely uncalled for, not to mention a bit insulting. Going into fires after the fact and looking at spread patterns I'm by no means versed in, but I know gas detection equipment backwards forwards and inside out.

          So I'm going to ask again, nice as I possibly can, what about the instrument made it a POS? What do you mean by "scientifically" with regards to arson detection? (The reason I'm confused here is that working with vapors involves quite a bit of scientific equipment. Do you mean more and more people are going to lab testing every scene with even a possibility of arson? Again, please explain what you mean for me.) Both of these are questions I'd really like to know before I make a decision on whether I'll carry this unit or not.

          P.S. What timeish in the 90s? Early or late? It would help me out to be able to pinpoint whether or not what made it a piece was changed from that time going forward.

          Thanks,

          James Moore
          James Moore
          http://www.idealcalibrations.com
          ----
          "It's still alarming, how do I get it to stop?"
          "Have you tried getting your *** out of the god $#@!$# building?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JamesIdealCal View Post
            The point of the exercise with me interviewing fire insurance investigators, fire marshals, and posting questions like, "What makes a good arson detector?" On a public forum filled with extremely knowledgeable people was the part that is filling the gap, as well as training with different instruments, etc.

            I'm curious what I've done here to excite you so much? All I asked was what specifically made the unit so bad for you. Did it alarm at things like running water and smelly socks? Did it not detect accelerants when they were present? Did the batteries not last long enough? Was it just a clunky POS to carry around?

            The assumption that every item sold by a company they have to be an expert in the field for is a bit unreasonable if you ask me. Especially when the person in question (me) is doing the best he can to find the experts in the field and learn from them.

            I've been doing gas detection for years, and the assumption that I know nothing at all about the instrument is completely uncalled for, not to mention a bit insulting. Going into fires after the fact and looking at spread patterns I'm by no means versed in, but I know gas detection equipment backwards forwards and inside out.

            So I'm going to ask again, nice as I possibly can, what about the instrument made it a POS? What do you mean by "scientifically" with regards to arson detection? (The reason I'm confused here is that working with vapors involves quite a bit of scientific equipment. Do you mean more and more people are going to lab testing every scene with even a possibility of arson? Again, please explain what you mean for me.) Both of these are questions I'd really like to know before I make a decision on whether I'll carry this unit or not.

            P.S. What timeish in the 90s? Early or late? It would help me out to be able to pinpoint whether or not what made it a piece was changed from that time going forward.

            Thanks,

            James Moore
            This is my fault. When I read the first post, I thought that you might have been something other than a salesman. I was wrong.

            I have no desire to debate with a salesman.
            PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm assuming you missed the first sentence of my post then, although I thought I made it fairly clear in the response that I do instrument repair and calibration for gas detection and that I'd be picking this up as a line at my company.

              I'm not looking to debate with you, I'm not looking to sell anything to you, and the snub nose attitude really doesn't help anyone. I'd really just honestly like to know what went wrong with the thing so that I can watch out in the future and make sure it isn't still an issue. I really don't know what I've said here that's upset you and caused you to continually insult me, and the idea that you didn't know I'd be attempting to sell this item after I outlined it plainly and after you made mention of trying to "feed my family off the commissions" is clearly just not true.

              If you don't feel comfortable answering what was wrong with it, or if you just plain don't like me for some reason I don't understand, that's fine don't post a reply, but please don't lie straight to me if you're going answer me.

              James Moore
              James Moore
              http://www.idealcalibrations.com
              ----
              "It's still alarming, how do I get it to stop?"
              "Have you tried getting your *** out of the god $#@!$# building?"

              Comment


              • #8
                You need to grow up.

                I did not insult you. I did not lie to you. I gave you a succinct answer to your question. I have nothing against you. I never said you knew nothing about the instrument. I said that you knew nothing about fire investigation. I wondered why you would try to sell a tool that you had no idea how it was going to be used.

                You wanted answers, I am going to give you answers.

                The device we purchased was in the early to mid '90's. It was an accelerant detection sensor that was built into a handlight. The device did not detect accelerants in tests we ran with known samples and detected accelerants in items that were known negatives. When we complined, we were told it was our fault. We demanded our money back. Finally, somebody from the company begrudgingly came out and worked with our unit. After testing it and making excuses for it, he had no alternative but to admit it was a piece of garbage that did not perform anywhere near what it was advertised or spec'd to do. Despite the fact that the unit was clearly substandard, we still had trouble getting our money back. Legal action was threatened and finally we got it back.

                I would not purchase anything from this company again. In speaking with fire investigators across the country, I never spoke to a single one who had a positive experience with a device made by this company. To this day, I know of no fire investigator who even owns one. They are not widely accepted as a means of accelerant detection by professional fire investigators.

                I hope I made myself clear. I would strongly suggest that if you feel strongly that this device is a worthwhile investigative technology, that you submit a proposal to the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigations and have this device and the methodology for using such a device included in the document much the same manner as canine accelerant detection teams.
                PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A good ACCELERANT detector

                  Usually has four legs, a wet nose and a wagging tail. I have never heard of an "arson detector" before.
                  IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
                    Usually has four legs, a wet nose and a wagging tail. I have never heard of an "arson detector" before.
                    You're exactly right.
                    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thread Being Closed

                      The content of this thread is going off topic and does appear to reflect a sales tone.

                      Comment

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