Sioen supports a fire investigation dog.

By supporting socially responsible projects, Sioen is contributing to SDG 17. As a socially responsible company, Sioen wants to commit to projects that have a positive impact on society.

Fire investigation dog Floris

We're supporting the training of fire investigation dog ‘Floris’ to assist the public prosecutors and the dog support division of the federal police. The combination of a fire expert with a dog is not common in Belgium and is therefore unique.

Floris and Jourik

The demand for a fire investigation dog can sometimes be high, especially since there are only 3 trained fire dogs at the federal police in Belgium. Jourik wants to provide a solution to this problem.

Jourik is currently a court expert in the construction industry, but is retraining in the field of fire detection. He became more and more interested in the research about fire spread and the development of fire. Therefore, he is currently training with his 2-year-old whippet 'Floris'. Together they will search for accelerants after a fire, to see what, where and how the fire ignited. This training is new for both Jourik and Floris. They are matched up to form an efficient team on the job.

Floris’ tasks

A fire investigation dog is a dog that has been trained to react to quantities of flammable materials that may have been used to start a fire. Materials such as petrol, fuel oil, diesel, lamp oil, paraffin among others, are referred to as "accelerants" or “fire agents” because they can be used to speed up a fire.

For some jobs, teamwork is the way to go. Jourik and Floris always search for the source of the fire together. A fire investigation dog goes in search of remains of fire accelerants. If the dog finds remains, the investigator will then determine whether the remains refer arson or not. The dog shows its operator whether there are any fire accelerants and this information is then used to determine whether the fire accelerants found are the cause of the fire.
The detection dog serves as a support for the prosecutor's office and police services.

Training to become a fire investigation dog

First, a suitable dog must be healthy, his sense of smell and taste must be in top condition. It is necessary for the dog to have a great hunting instinct. This means that the dog must have the desire to do a number of things in connection with searching for smells.
A fire investigation dog must also be very flexible, as they are trained to navigate in all sorts of non-conventional areas.

Detecting odours alone is not the only task, of course. The dog must also be able to discriminate between different scents. Therefore, the odours are linked to a reward. This reward can be a treat or playing with the dog.

It is clear that even for perfectly trained dogs, the environment around a fire isn’t an ideal place to work. Of course, the dog is trained to make sure that he is not hurt when working close to debris, dangerous objects, etc. In addition, those circumstances can influence the dog’s smell and make it more difficult to find the remains of fire accelerants. Thanks to the right education, those disturbances don’t cause problems.

Benefits of using a fire investigation dog

A fire investigation dog works very efficiently and fast. This can save the fire investigators time at the fire scene. If a dog can identify the source of the fire, the fire investigator can determine whether the fire was set on purpose or not.
Dogs have a far more better sense of smell than human beings. Floris is very accurate, whereas humans can only make educated guesses about the possible accelerant that is used and the dog can detect fire accelerants faster than current technical means which are very time-consuming.
The dog narrows down this work as he can distinguish multiple scents of accelerants.

Sioen's contribution

Jourik knew Sioen mainly as a world producer of technical textiles. As a prevention advisor, he often came into contact with the protective clothing produced by Sioen. He contacted Sioen with a request for possible sponsorship for his innovative project.

Because this project is in line with the spirit of our product range for firefighters, protecting those who protect us, Sioen likes to support and help Jourik and Floris to grow. Therefore, Sioen has sponsored a firefighting garment and wind protection garments for the owner and trainer of the fire investigation dog. Jourik is delighted that Sioen is a go-getter for a project that is, after all, of social importance.

Jourik and Floris are looking forward to other people/organisations following Sioen's example and supporting them in this fantastic project.