Stonehouse supports law firms, insurance companies and manufacturing businesses in cases related to process safety by providing professional, impartial advice and qualified expert opinion. We draw on three decades of case experience, incident investigation work, and a scientific approach – complemented by testing results from our laboratories.
Our approach to incident investigation follows the scientific method recommended by NFPA 921 – Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. This method provides an organizational and analytical process necessary for any successful incident investigation.
Once it has been determined that a fire or explosion has occurred, we determine its cause through the following steps:
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Development of a hypothesis
- Testing of the hypothesis
- Selection of the final hypothesis
The hypothesis must stand the test of a careful and serious challenge. Testing of the hypothesis is done by comparing the hypothesis to all known facts as well as the body of scientific knowledge relevant to the specific incident. A hypothesis that is developed without supporting data is a hypothesis that is incapable of being tested and is therefore invalid.
Once the hypothesis has been tested, we review the entire process to ensure that all credible data are accounted for and all feasible alternate hypotheses have been considered and eliminated. We will document the facts that support the final hypothesis to the exclusion of all other reasonable hypotheses. Stonehouse’s proven specialists have decades of experience in the prevention and mitigation of flash fire and explosion hazards, as well as systematic investigation of process safety incidents–small and major–supported by pertinent laboratory test data. These incidents have included gas, vapor, and dust cloud flash fires and explosions in a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, wood and metal processing industries.
Our specialty areas of expert advice, litigation support and laboratory testing include:
Why Work with Us
- Significant deposition and courtroom experience
- Internationally recognized expertise
- More than three decades of process safety experience
- Process safety information and customized testing available from our own laboratories
- Membership and participation in national standards committees
- Numerous research and industry publications