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Fingermark recovery from items subjected to heat via fire

Jack Deans FFS, FCSFS Consultant Fingerprint Expert and Forensic Research Projects Manager at Gardiner Associates Training & Research (GATR) carried out a comprehensive research project in 2022 which focused on fingerprint recovery from a variety of substrates subjected to fire and high temperatures.

As part of the project, brass plates, copper pipes, mobile and cordless phones were sent to West Technology Forensics where a VMD560 was used to recover the latent fingermarks deposited by GATR associates before the substrates were subjected to fire. After the VMD processes were carried out – with great success -, the items were sent back to Jack for the evaluation of the developed fingermarks.

You can read more about the great results in the article Jack has published on The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences website.

West Technology Forensics is always open to collaborate with universities, police and any other institutions to research fingermark recovery from substrates. Send us an email to to discuss the details.

The picture predicts one of the brass plates that was recovered from the fire scene and later processed with sterling silver and zinc VMD. The temperature reached around 575°C (1067°F) in the vicinity of this brass plate.