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Building design is a key factor determining the way a fire spreads. Since a fire investigator has to determine the fire origin before turning to cause, the start of the physical side of fire investigation has to begin with building design.

Building design, for a forensic fire investigator, encompasses height, number of floors, location and design of stairways and shafts (escalators, elevators, chutes), barriers (such as fire walls) and the materials of construction of all these.

All the above can change from country to country. All countries have fire codes, but countries in Asia differ greatly in the enforcement of those codes.

This section of our web site is not a treatise on building design, but a collection of photographs that give an impression of the fire spread or lack of in a building, and some comment on the aspect of the design that was influential. Because of the many fire investigations we have carried out throughout Asia, we show photographs under the following categories.