MICHAEL DONNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL DONNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Firefighter with sniffer dog searching for clues of the cause of a house fire. This dog (called an arson dog) has been trained to indicate the presence of accelerants used to start fires, such as gasoline and kerosene. Its nose membranes are roughly 70 times more sensitive than those of humans and a much larger part of its brain is dedicated to scent detection. Arson dogs can respond to specific odours and can differentiate between accelerants and similar chemical compounds found at the fire scene, something that standard detection equipment cannot do. Arson accounts for over a third of all fires.
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