The Pasadena Fire Marshal’s Office K-9 is an accelerant detection canine (arson dog) that has been trained to sniff out minute traces of accelerants that may have been used to start a fire.
“Baron” is a 4 year old German Short Hair Pointer from Hungary. Baron who along with his handler Deputy Fire Marshal Rusty Rodgers helps determine the presence of ignitable liquids, such as gasoline, at fire scenes. Deputy Rodgers keeps Baron at home and they both come to work together every day. Baron must undergo daily training with his handler, and certify annually to maintain his proficiency. Baron is trained to be a passive alert canine, this means that once he senses a possible accelerant, he will alert his handler and not move from the spot until he is rewarded with a toy.
How Does Baron Detect Ignitable Liquids?
Canines can pinpoint traces of accelerants that cannot be picked up by electronic hydrocarbon detection equipment used in the field. Generally speaking, hydrocarbon detectors are sensitive to hydrocarbon components in parts per million (ppm), but canines can detect amounts as small as .01 micro liters. In addition, a canine can differentiate between products of combustions and similar chemical gases found at fire scenes from true accelerants, which mechanical detectors cannot. This accuracy helps pinpoint the location of accelerants in a shorter time, thereby reducing the field time of investigators searching and processing a fire scene.