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Leerburg Articles Accelerant Detection Test

Accelerant Detection Test

North American Police Work Dog Association

Accelerant Detection Test

This test will determine the proficiency and reliability of dogs in the detection of accelerant odors in a variety of realistic search scenarios. For certification the team CANNOT miss more than one (1) aid in all phases of testing. A "team miss" is defined as any incorrect response by the K9 team. If a team fails in one (1) test area, only that area failed in need be retested at a later time. It is recommended that the testing be done over a two (2) day period or more. However this is only a recommendation and the final decision shall rest with the Master Trainer. All aids will be placed at least five (5) minutes prior to testing. As defined by the NAPWDA accelerant detection rules for testing, the minimum acceptable level required to pass is 91.6%.

For the purpose of these certification rules, the term "Aid" is a sample of an accelerant that has been poured or dropped in an area.

All canines must be tested on nine (9) different accelerant odors made up of three (3) odors from each division of heavy, medium and light hydrocarbons. The odors that may be used to test each division are as follows:

Heavy:
1.) #2 Fuel Oil
2.) Diesel Fuel
3.) Gum Turpentine
4.) Lamp Oil
5.) Transmission Fluid
6.) Jet-A-Fuel

Medium:
1.) Paint & Varnish Remover
2.) Lacquer Thinner
3.) Kerosene
4.) Gasoline
5.) Gasohol
6.) Octane

Light:
1.) Charcoal Lighter Fluid
2.) Paint Thinner
3.) Naphtha
4.) Dry Gas

It shall be the responsibility of the agencies / K9 teams being tested to provide samples of all accelerant odors. The Master Trainer will select the odors used to test each division at random from these samples.

The maximum amount used for testing shall be ¼ cup and the minimum amount shall be one (1) drop from a hypodermic syringe and needle. Each area tested will contain a minimum of three (3) aids and a maximum of four (4) aids with each being a different accelerant odor. The handler will not be told the number or type of accelerant aids they are searching for.

Five (5) areas will be provided for testing. The canine team will be tested in four (4) of the five (5) areas. The five (5) areas will be:

1.) Structure / Fire Scene
2.) Open Area
3.) Paint Can Line Up
4.) Clothing Line Up
5.) Vehicle Interior

The areas will be picked by availability.

Structure / Fire Scene: The structure / fire scene search shall consist of either an intact structure or the site of a structure fire. If a structure fire scene is selected, the fire must have occurred not less than eight hours nor more than three months prior to the test being conducted. The size of the area used for testing shall be not less than 1600 square feet nor more than 2400 square feet. The dog will be searched through the area prior to aids being placed to ensure that no accelerant odors are present in the search area. The aids may be placed anywhere from a height of four (4) feet to a depth of three (3) inches under debris or ash.

Open Area Search: Open area shall be defined as: 1.) Exterior of buildings. 2.) Open Fields. 3.) Wooded area. 4.) Any outside area not covered in above. The area is to be no larger than 100 yards by 100 yards and no smaller than 50 yards by 50 yards or any configuration thereof. Aids used in this search shall consist of a minimum of ¼ cup of accelerant poured on the ground or a container concealed in the area containing at least 1/8 cup of accelerant.

Paint Can Line Up: It shall be the responsibility of the agencies / K9 Teams being tested to provide the correct number of properly prepared paint cans for this test. A minimum of six (6) and a maximum of ten (10) unused one gallon paint cans, each containing burned wood, paper and plastic material are placed in a line a minimum of three (3) feet apart. No accelerant material is used to prepare the ash samples. If the dog to be tested indicates aggressively (scratching & biting ) lids are placed on the paint cans with a minimum of eight (8) 1/16 inch diameter holes in each lid.

Clothing Line Up: A minimum of six (6) and a maximum of ten (10) piles of recently worn clothes are placed in a line a minimum of three (3) feet apart.

Vehicle Interior: A minimum of six (6) and a maximum of ten (10) vehicles of any type or model are parked in a line (such as a parking lot) so as to allow the team to have access to each vehicle. All aids will be placed in the interior (passenger compartment) of the vehicles and the teams will confine the search to the vehicle interiors only.

Prior to the first team entering the test area a person and canine will be walked through the testing area. Each handler shall brief the Master Trainer as to the dogs alert and response to aids prior to testing and each indication to an aid by the canine should be obvious to the Master Trainer. Prior to each phase the Master Trainer shall explain each problem that will be encountered by the handler such as boundaries, starting point, etc.

There is no time limit for a team to complete each phase of testing, however, the Master Trainer may stop the test once it has been made evident that the team can not locate the aids.

All tests given the Accelerant Detection Team will be on a pass/fail basis. The Master Trainer will determine if the team will be certified upon the completion of the test. The handler and dog will be considered as a team and it is the team who will be certified. If the dog changes handlers, a new team exists and the team will need to be certified.

This certification will be valid for two (2) years from the date of issue as defined in Certification Validity paragraph. It should be noted that normal training and retraining must be conducted to maintain and enhance the teams capability.

A schedule of fees may be imposed on the team to pay for expenses for holding this test.

Adopted and approved 06-22-97



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