Fire Investigator

Chicago, Illinois

Company Information
Solid reputation, passionate people and endless opportunities. That's Travelers. Our superior financial strength and consistent record of strong operating returns mean security for our customers - and opportunities for our employees. You will find Travelers to be full of energy and a workplace in which you truly can make a difference.

Job Summary
  • Under general direction, this position is responsible for conducting high complexity in-depth fire and explosion investigations on all fires referred to the internal fire investigation unit.
  • Working in a nationwide and regional team relationship with executive/regional Claim, Legal and Subrogation professionals on the determination of the origin and cause of a fire loss.
  • Responsible for application of specialized expertise and experience.
  • This position is a dedicated Investigative Professional who will respond to fire and explosion events.
  • The incumbent is expected to work a flexible work schedule, to include additional daily or weekly work hours; occasional weekends; overnight travel and multiple day deployments, which may be on short-notice.
  • The position requires travel for periods of approximately 3-5 consecutive days and often has numerous deployments throughout the year.
  • Requires working in adverse conditions such as a post fire, explosion and catastrophic event sites.
  • The incumbent must be able to work in various climates such as ice storms in the Northeast to hail storms in the Southeast.
  • This job does not manage staff.

Primary Job Duties & Responsibilities
  • Primarily responsible is for investigating the origin and cause of all levels of complex fires and explosion investigations which may involve the direct management of additional investigative experts.
  • Applies thorough knowledge of general fire scene safety and potential hazards during investigations.
  • Applies the techniques of critical thinking to dismantle complex problems and reasoning through to its logical conclusion utilizing the scientific method as outlined in NFPA921.
  • Prepares and provides accurate technical documentation of any fire or explosion investigation in order to accurately recall and communicate effectively observations of the scene at a later date.
  • Collects, identifies and safeguards all evidence and chain of custody necessary to the determination of an origin and cause fire claim.
  • Analyzes, transforms and conveys highly technical information into actionable investigative strategies that would include fraudulent (Arson) events, general liability and subrogation theories.
  • Applies Local, State and Federal statutes to ensure investigations are carried out within the requirements of applicable laws.
  • Participates and testifies in all legal proceedings as a certified technical expert as to the origin and cause of a fire or explosion incident.
  • Participates in various industry and related business functions to maintain awareness/ issues/trends in the claim or underwriting environment.
  • Provides primary technical support, as subject matter expert, to field offices on questions of fire and explosion incidents.
  • Establishes and maintains a working relationship with local, state and federal organizations.
  • Provides exceptional customer service by maintaining contact with business partners and customers throughout the life of each investigation.
  • Periodically engage in specialized investigative areas, including Marine, Vehicle, Heavy Equipment, Wild land, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelors Degree in Fire Science and/or a minimum of 5 years of fire scene investigative experience required. Must demonstrate working knowledge of NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033 guidelines/ standards and knowledge of rules of evidence, procedural law and other protocols and regulations governing this discipline required. Knowledgeable of local and federal fire statutes required. Nationally Certified Fire Investigator / member of the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) required OR Internationally Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)required. Must maintain such certifications throughout employment required. Valid driver license - required.

Education, Work Experience & Knowledge
Masters Degree - preferred. Management experience preferred.

Job Specific & Technical Skills & Competencies
  • Analytical and problem solving skills to use and interpret information and facts - Advanced
  • Communication skills necessary to communicate opinions and findings - Advanced
  • Proficient computer skills required - Intermediate
  • Knowledge of leadership and coaching skills - Advanced
  • Apply critical thinking techniques to investigation review - Masters
  • Analytical capabilities - Masters
  • Must take ownership/initiative; significant planning and goal setting skills required -- Advanced
  • Must be a self-motivated individual - Advanced
  • Works well independently or in a remote team environment - Advanced
  • Adapting to changes in process and shifting priorities - Advanced

Environmental/Work Schedules/Other
  • Environmental Exposure to Excess Noise - Frequently
  • Exposure to Dirt, Dust, Fumes, Smoke, Gases, or Other Irritating Substances - Digging out the fire scene - Continuously
  • Exposure to Variable Weather Conditions - Continuously
  • Operate or work around moving machinery - Frequently
  • Work Schedules Weekend work hours - Occasionally
  • Overnight work hours - Occasionally
  • Holiday work hours (Federal and religious) - Occasionally
  • Other Travel - Continuously
  • Other: Incumbents who fill this position will be subject to periodic post-hire criminal background checks while employed in this position. As a condition of acceptance for the position, selected candidates for this position will be required to electronically accept the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Disclosure Statement and Authorization included in the online employment application. You may also be subsequently asked to accept similar FCRA authorizations periodically throughout your employment with the Company.

Physical Requirements
  • Operates standard office equipment - Occasionally
  • Sitting (can stand at will) - Occasionally
  • Standing - Frequently
  • Lifting items up to 50 pounds - Continuously
  • Climbing unprotected heights (ladder, rooftop, stairs, loading dock) - Occasionally
  • Use of Keyboards, Sporadic 10-Key - Occasionally
  • Working in a confined or restricted area - Frequently
  • Driving - Frequently
  • Other: Must be able to carry, set up and climb a ladder weighing approximately 40-45 pounds with a safety weight rating of up to 300 pounds (safety weight rating is the amount of weight the ladder can safely carry and includes weight of the individual and up to 16 pounds of standard Equipment). Must be able to climb ladders and stairs and transition to and from ladders or stairs in order to access building roof areas and upper or lower floors within a customer site. Have the ability to navigate through customer sites in a safe manner, which may include manufacturing areas, warehouses, storage yards, construction sites, etc. which may present surfaces that are uneven, wet, icy, and somewhat unstable or covered with debris. Be capable of moving / lifting heavy objects usually weighing around 45 pounds, but could weigh up to 60 pounds. Have the ability to navigate within a customer facility in low light or relatively dark conditions. Be capable of making regular and prompt travel over extended distances by air or vehicle while demonstrating effective planning, expense and cost control skills. Must be able to work under exposure to extreme outdoor/indoor conditions (heat, now, cold, rain, etc.)

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Travelers is an equal opportunity employer.

About Travelers

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading property casualty insurer selling primarily through independent agents and brokers. The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage in the auto, home and business settings. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2010.