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Our experts are here 24/7 to help with the analysis of fires, explosions, vehicular accidents, structural, mechanical and electrical failures using the latest technology and testing methodologies.

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McDowell Owens Engineering

The next best thing to a scientific eyewitness.


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At our core, McDowell Owens team of professional engineers, fire scientists, and consultants specialize in failure analysis.

Over the last 35 years, we have established ourselves as a leader in the forensic engineering and failure analysis industry.

Our commitment is to provide top-notch, highly trained and skilled engineers, scientists and investigators that provide quality and cost-effective solutions to clients worldwide.


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Fire & Explosion Analysis

McDowell Owens provides clients with committed, qualified, and professionally trained investigators, engineers, and technicians that are educated and certified in all phases of Fire Science and Fire/Explosion Investigation.

Our experts determine the origin, cause, and contributing factors of ANY fire including small domestic fires, arson, explosions and industrial plant explosions through:

Exhaustive fact gathering
Scientific investigation
Evidence collection
Testing and analysis

McDowell Owens also has the ability to store critical evidence.

Our experts have conducted more then 6,000 fire and explosion incident investigations throughout the United States and worldwide. McDowell Owens engineers and experts have the latest technology at their disposal to document any scene by photograph, video, digital and infa-red thermal imaging, and optical survey. 

Areas of expertise include:

  • Fire Origin and Cause Investigation
  • Explosion Investigation
  • Fuel Gas System Analysis – Gas Mechanics and Diffusion
  • Heat Transfer and Thermodynamic Analysis
  • Computer Fire Modeling
  • Full and Reduced-Scale Fire and Explosion Testing

When required, we integrate the expertise of our mechanical, electrical and structural engineers to provide our clients the critical information needed to help determine the appropriate course of action and allocation of resources.

Specialized Fire & Explosion Services include:

McDowell Owens engineers and fire investigators has over 30 years hands-on experience with on-site fire and explosion investigations. Our engineers and fire analysts also have extensive experience providing a full range of litigation support services.

Our staff has the ability to conduct both full-scale and reduced-scale testing at the Fire Testing and Research Center. Access to the fire and testing center gives investigators the rare opportunity to scientifically test hypothesis, using state-of-the-art data logging equipment, allowing the experts to document the development and propagation of a fire and/or explosion incident. Recent case law has reinforced the critical importance of such testing relating to the substantiation of an expert's opinion through peer-reviewed and industry-accepted procedures.

In addition, we have the expertise to perform heat transfer and thermodynamic analysis along with the application of computer technology to model the potential development and distribution of the combustion by-products within a given environment.  When necessary, toxicological examination of individual components, assemblies and construction materials can be performed to determine the products that are released during a per-defined combustion reaction.