Technical Articles

Jul 23

Burgoynes Appliance Database – Identifying Fire Damaged White Goods

Current Home Office fire statistics, based on information collated by the Fire Service, indicate that approximately 50% of domestic fires  

Apr 05

A Master's Guide to Fire Safety on Ferries

Burgoynes' partner, Frank Anderson, has worked with Standard Club and Lloyds Register  to publish A Master's Guide to Fire Safety on Ferries. Read this article to find out more.

Oct 06

The Swedish Club: Don’t Overlook the Risk of Cargo Fires

Cargo fires occur so infrequently that awareness of the risk can slip under the radar. Yet such an incident on board a vessel can have disastrous consequences including loss of life or catastrophic loss of the

Mar 21

Domestic Tumble Dryer Fires – Another Hazard - Self-Heating

There has been a lot of publicity, and rightly so, about fires in domestic tumble dryers caused by the ignition of lint on the heating elements. This article deals with an entirely separate cause of fires

Dec 06

Risk Focus: Engine Room Fires

Burgoynes' Chris Foster, Frank Anderson and Neil Sanders have teamed up with Thomas Miller to produce the UK P&I Club's latest Risk Focus on Engine Room Fires. Engine room fires are one of the most common fires on ships owing to the presence of a wide range of sources of fuel,

Sep 09

Fires in Thatched Buildings

Burgoynes was established in 1968 and its 60 investigators currently investigate around 3000 fires a year, mainly for insurers, both in the UK and abroad.  Of these fires, currently about 15 a year are in thatched

Feb 01

Is Your E-Cig Actually "Safe"?

 With the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, the number of reports of fires that are said to have been caused by one of them “exploding” or otherwise failing has also increased...

Feb 14


On 31 January 2004, a fire at the Rosepark Care Home in Lanarkshire led to the deaths of 14 elderly residents.  This was a relatively modern facility with 24 hour staffing and only two minutes from a fire station.  In 2010 a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) heard from all the key players and reported in 2011.  It sought to identify improvements in fire safety that might prevent such a tragedy in the future.

Sep 15


Back in the 19th century, Sherlock Holmes’ ability to notice and analyse the smallest clues arguably made him the first well known forensic investigator. He was in fact based on Dr Joseph Bell, a forensic scientist from Edinburgh under whom Conan Doyle (the author of the books) studied. That legacy of scientific rigour and meticulousness continues today as demonstrated by the Burgoynes’ investigators.

One perfect example of this attention to detail can be seen in a case that involved extensive litigation, but finally hinged around a clothing label spotted by one of Burgoynes’ partners, John Fuller. 


Jul 13


From time to time investigators from Burgoynes have been called upon to investigate the causes of fires that have occurred within sauna cubicles.  Such fires, occurring as they do in sauna compartments that are timber-lined, are prone to develop rapidly and often cause substantial damage.  Where such cubicles are located in leisure complexes or hotels the fires can lead to substantial economic loss.

Oct 15


Senior Partner Chris Foster has been featured in "Burning Desire", published in the Telegraph Magazine on 17 October 2009 and on line, which describes the work of fire investigators and focuses in particular on the "hidden plague" of arson.  The author, Eric Clark, describes the work of investigators from London Fire Brigade and features Burgoynes, major insurers, loss adjusters and lawyers.  Chris points out that "you can't do armchair investigations"  and goes on to describe the general principles of investigation, including recording without disturbance followed by an in-depth search of the scene.