Dr. McAllister is the Founder and Technical Director of FireTox, LLC, a company dedicated to advancing knowledge in the fields of fire and toxicological sciences by providing expert services in the areas of research, investigation, engineering, and training. Dr. McAllister is a licensed fire protection engineer, a forensic toxicologist, a certified fire investigator (CFI), and a certified safety professional (CSP). She has investigated hundreds of fires and offered expert opinions in depositions and trials on issues such as contributory causes in fire deaths and injuries, the impact of code violations and building construction on fire growth and spread, product failures and defects, fire dynamics, and carbon monoxide poisoning incidents.
- Building Codes
- Burn Injury
- Failure Analysis
- Fire & Life Safety
- Fire Sprinkler Systems
- Forensic Engineering
- Medical Toxicology
- Products Liability
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: Ph.D., Toxicology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 2010.
M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, School of Engineering, College Park, MD, 2002.
B.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, School of Engineering, College Park, MD, 2000.
Registered Professional Engineer (Fire Protection), State of Delaware, License # 13162
Registered Professional Engineer (Fire Protection), State of Maryland, License #39570
Certified Fire Investigator, International Association of Arson Investigators, Certification #53-120705
Certified Safety Professional, Board of Certified Safety Professionals, Certification # CSP-33215,
Contracting Officer’s Representative- Level II, Federal Acquisition Institute
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: Current
Member, Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Member, International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
Member, International Code Council (ICC)
Member, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Member, Society of Forensic Toxicology (SOFT)
Member, Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE)
Friend, NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
Committee, NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detection and Warning Equipment
Committee, ISO/TC 92/SC3, Fire threat to people and the environment
Member, Society of Toxicology (SOT)
Member, International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS)
Member, Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives (TWGFEX)
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: “Electrical Fire Research” presented at NFPA 921 Committee Meeting, Tucson, AZ, February 2002.
“Arson Investigation” segment, Fox 5 News, WTTG-DC, May 2005.
“Comparison of Gasoline Weathering on Carpet Samples Exposed to Various Thermal Environments”, presented at International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, Cincinnati, OH, June 2006.
“The Extent of Evaporation of Ignitable Liquids Under Exposure to Compartment Fires, Non-Fire Thermal and Non-Thermal Environments” presented at Fire and Materials, San Francisco, CA, January 2007.
“Smoke Detection Systems, Fire Modeling, and Fire Toxicology: Useful Tools in Fire Investigation and Reconstruction,” presented at Cozen O’Connor Continuing Legal Education seminar, Philadelphia, PA, April 2007.
“Application of Fundamental Principles”, presented at International Association of Arson Investigators Conference, Denver, CO, April 2008.
“Applications of Forensic Toxicology in Fire Origin and Cause Determination”, presented at the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Professional Development Conference, Charlotte, NC, October 2008.
“The Use of Forensic Toxicology in Fire Origin and Cause Determination”, presented to the Advanced Fire Investigation Class, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, February 2009.
“Forensics: You Decide- Up in Flames”, Season 1, Episode 3, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Channel, August 2009.
NFPA 921: Guide to Fire and Explosion Investigation; Session 1: Electricity and Fire, Session 2: Fire and Explosion Deaths and Injuries, presented to the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal, February 17, 2010 and March 3, 2010.
“Burned: Arson Investigation Evidence Changes with Science”, 20/20, ABC News, May 7, 2010.
“Forensic Toxicology in Fire Investigation: The Kristine Bunch Case Study”, presented to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Beltsville, MD February 8, 2011.
“The Scientific Method and a Case of Arson-for-Hire”, presented at the Circumstantial Arson Case: Investigative Techniques and Strategies Seminar, King of Prussia, PA, February 9, 2011.
“Fire Related Deaths and Injuries: The Use of Toxicological Data in Fire Origin and Cause Determination”, presented at the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, MD, March 19, 2011, April 19, 2011, June 28, 2011.
“Fire Related Deaths and Injuries: The Use of Toxicological Data in Fire Origin and Cause Determination”, presented at the International Association of Arson Investigators, NC/SC Chapter Training Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC, October 20, 2011.
“Toxicology in Fire Investigation”, presented at the International Association of Arson Investigators, Annual Training Conference, Dover, DE, April 25, 2012.
“Practical Applications of Fire Dynamics and Modeling”, presented at the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, MD, August 21st-23rd, 2012 and December 2nd- 7th, 2012.
“Fire Death Investigations”, presented at the Collin County Fire & Arson Investigation Association- 3rd Annual Forensic Fire Death Investigations Course, Huntsville, TX, September 21, 2015.
“Fire Dynamics for Beginners”, presented as a Webinar for the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, February 16, 2018.
“Forensic Toxicology: Furthering Fire Causation Analysis with Medical Evidence”, presented at the Maine Event, Portland, ME, July 26, 2018.
“The Scientific Method in Fire Death Investigation” and “The Impact of Drugs and Alcohol in Fire-Related Death” presented at the International Association of Arson Investigators, Oregon Chapter 31, Advanced Arson Seminar, Newport, OR, September 19, 2018.
“Fire and Emergency Service Personnel Knowledge, Skills, and Maintaining Proficiency”, National Fire Protection Association, Fire Protection Research Foundation Workshop, Quincy, MA, October 1st and 2nd.
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: No
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Hundreds
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Fire Origin and Cause Investigation
Electrical Fire Causes
Building Code/Construction Compliance
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Incidents
Fire Service Injuries/Deaths
Product Liability/Failure Analysis
Personal Injuries and Deaths by Fire
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 50%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 50%
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: 16
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: 5
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: 1
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: 20
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: consulting, investigation, research, engineering, site inspections, laboratory testing, evidence inspections, reports, training
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $350/hr - initial consultation (up to one hour) is at no charge
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $350/hr
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $350/hr
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $350/hr
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Standard retainer fee of $5000 due upon retention; fee may be more or less based upon project scope. Travel expenses, travel time, and any other direct costs incurred.
Available Upon Request