UCF researchers and Florida State Fire Marshal officials will set four one-bedroom apartments on fire today in an effort to improve the forensic tools arson investigators rely on throughout the nation.

University of Central Florida Chemistry Professor Michael Sigman and his students are working with a team from the Florida State Fire College and forensic scientists from the Florida Bureau Forensic Fire and Explosives Analysis on research that should give fire investigators and analysts a more precise way to determine if a fire has been set deliberately — even when the ignitable liquid is present at very low levels and virtually impossible to reliably detect through current methods.

If successful today, the technique has the potential to impact fire debris analysis and arson investigations across the nation.