Forensic Engineers and Consultants

John Holecek

John Holecek

HolocekL600

John Holecek

M.S.M.E., P.E., CSE, CFEI Phone: 803.732.6600 vCard LinkedIn Download CV

Expertise

  • Electrical and Mechanical Control Systems
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Gas Fired Equipment and Appliances
  • ICC, NFPA, OSHA Codes and Standards
  • Industrial Processes and Operations
Biography

Senior Consulting Engineer John Holecek is a licensed professional engineer in 8 states and has both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. John has passed the professional engineering exam in both Mechanical and Controls Engineering.

A NAFI Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, John has more than 22 years of experience in the design of industrial, commercial and consumer products. These products include industrial ovens, paint spray systems, HVAC systems, conveyors, and gas appliances including commercial cooking equipment and gas grills. His design experience includes the control systems for these products as well as the normal safeguarding provisions applied to these products.

Additionally, John has supervised manufacturing operations and managed outside contractors in site safety requirements and the installation of industrial process equipment. By virtue of his experience, he is well versed in federal and state worker safety regulations.

Qualifications
B.S., and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Licensed Professional Control System Engineer
Applied Engineering Experience (many years)
Publications
The Potential for Perforation of Corrugated Stainless Steel Tube (CSST) by Energized Branch Circuits in Fire Conditions

What caused those holes in that CSST pipe found in a fire scene?

Technical Requirements for Using Recirculation Paint Spray Booths

Recirculation paint spray booths minimize risks to the environment; however, these complex systems intensify fire and explosion risks associated with spray painting. Proper design, maintenance and operation of this equipment in compliance with applicable codes and safety standards are the key to controlling these risks.

Analysis of a Double Fatality Fire Allegedly Caused by a Portable Electric Heater

A portable electric heater was ultimately proven not to cause a tragic fire in which two children perished. The analysis performed shows the importance of conducting a thorough investigation and is a prime example of how utilizing the current scientific methodology is vital to getting to the bottom of a complex fire loss.

Evaluating Fire Damaged Regulators: How Reliable is Post-Fire Testing?

Regulators are the heart of gas piping systems and whenever gas systems are suspected of being involved in a fire or an explosion regulators should be properly tested and evaluated. But what if the regulator has sustained heat damage from the fire? How reliable is post-fire testing of regulators?

Recent Posts
A joint lab examination  was conducted with an exemplar heater.

Analysis of Double Fatality Fire Allegedly Caused by a Portable Electric Heater

When fires occur, the effect on people’s lives is often devastating. This is especially true with fires that cause the death of a child. Clearly it is important to try and find the causes of such fires so that they can be prevented in the future. In such circumstances, it is especially important to follow […]

Figure 2. A detail of the CAD model showing the area in which the firefighter was injured.

Firefighter burned due to improper industrial oven design and operation

Industrial ovens and furnaces are used in many manufacturing processes.  One use of industrial ovens is for drying and curing coatings on fabrics. I investigated a fire loss involving a very large oven, 10 stories high, used for curing coatings on an industrial fabric. A young firefighter was burned in response to this fire, one […]

Figure 2:  One of twelve tests where a junction of LP gas charged CSST and 5 sections of energized NM cable were subjected to fire conditions.

Evaluating the Potential for “Victim” Holes Not Caused By Lightning in CSST

Prior to becoming a forensic engineer, I spent many years in industry designing fuel gas fired equipment. This included designing gas grills, commercial cooking appliances, and large industrial systems.  I learned a lot about the safe use of natural gas and propane. Once I entered the forensic engineering field, that experience helped me in evaluating […]

Figure 2: A view of a typical PLC.  The blue and red wiring to the right terminate at the PLC’s input / output wiring connections. The processor is to the left at the keyed switch.  This PLC has capacity to communicate over an Ethernet data link.

Forensic Examination of Losses that Include Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s)

Many modern machines and processes are controlled by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s).  PLC’s are essentially computers that have the ability, properly connected and programmed, to interface with the outside world and control the actions of a machine like a robot or conveyor.  The PLC has a processor for processing the user programmed logic, and also […]

A proper thermometer that includes an indication of dangerous temperatures and a needle stop.

Product Design is Critical to Consumer Safety

As the holiday season nears, thoughts turn to wonderful home cooked meals with family.  Few things in life are more pleasurable than a traditional holiday turkey feast. Yet for an unfortunate few, holiday meal time can turn tragic if a turkey frying accident occurs.   While fried turkeys may be tasty, many fire safety experts feel […]

[SLIDESHARE] Ovens and Furnaces

Safety through design is a critical consideration in oven and furnace manufacturing. This slideshow takes a look at industry standards governing their design and identifies common safety oversights. Ovens and Furnaces from Warren Forensics

Senior Consulting Engineer John Holecek is a licensed professional engineer in 8 states and has both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. John has passed the professional engineering exam in both Mechanical and Controls Engineering.

A NAFI Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, John has more than 22 years of experience in the design of industrial, commercial and consumer products. These products include industrial ovens, paint spray systems, HVAC systems, conveyors, and gas appliances including commercial cooking equipment and gas grills. His design experience includes the control systems for these products as well as the normal safeguarding provisions applied to these products.

Additionally, John has supervised manufacturing operations and managed outside contractors in site safety requirements and the installation of industrial process equipment. By virtue of his experience, he is well versed in federal and state worker safety regulations.

B.S., and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Licensed Professional Control System Engineer
Applied Engineering Experience (many years)
The Potential for Perforation of Corrugated Stainless Steel Tube (CSST) by Energized Branch Circuits in Fire Conditions

What caused those holes in that CSST pipe found in a fire scene?

Technical Requirements for Using Recirculation Paint Spray Booths

Recirculation paint spray booths minimize risks to the environment; however, these complex systems intensify fire and explosion risks associated with spray painting. Proper design, maintenance and operation of this equipment in compliance with applicable codes and safety standards are the key to controlling these risks.

Analysis of a Double Fatality Fire Allegedly Caused by a Portable Electric Heater

A portable electric heater was ultimately proven not to cause a tragic fire in which two children perished. The analysis performed shows the importance of conducting a thorough investigation and is a prime example of how utilizing the current scientific methodology is vital to getting to the bottom of a complex fire loss.

Evaluating Fire Damaged Regulators: How Reliable is Post-Fire Testing?

Regulators are the heart of gas piping systems and whenever gas systems are suspected of being involved in a fire or an explosion regulators should be properly tested and evaluated. But what if the regulator has sustained heat damage from the fire? How reliable is post-fire testing of regulators?

A joint lab examination  was conducted with an exemplar heater.

Analysis of Double Fatality Fire Allegedly Caused by a Portable Electric Heater

When fires occur, the effect on people’s lives is often devastating. This is especially true with fires that cause the death of a child. Clearly it is important to try and find the causes of such fires so that they can be prevented in the future. In such circumstances, it is especially important to follow […]

Figure 2. A detail of the CAD model showing the area in which the firefighter was injured.

Firefighter burned due to improper industrial oven design and operation

Industrial ovens and furnaces are used in many manufacturing processes.  One use of industrial ovens is for drying and curing coatings on fabrics. I investigated a fire loss involving a very large oven, 10 stories high, used for curing coatings on an industrial fabric. A young firefighter was burned in response to this fire, one […]

Figure 2:  One of twelve tests where a junction of LP gas charged CSST and 5 sections of energized NM cable were subjected to fire conditions.

Evaluating the Potential for “Victim” Holes Not Caused By Lightning in CSST

Prior to becoming a forensic engineer, I spent many years in industry designing fuel gas fired equipment. This included designing gas grills, commercial cooking appliances, and large industrial systems.  I learned a lot about the safe use of natural gas and propane. Once I entered the forensic engineering field, that experience helped me in evaluating […]

Figure 2: A view of a typical PLC.  The blue and red wiring to the right terminate at the PLC’s input / output wiring connections. The processor is to the left at the keyed switch.  This PLC has capacity to communicate over an Ethernet data link.

Forensic Examination of Losses that Include Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s)

Many modern machines and processes are controlled by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s).  PLC’s are essentially computers that have the ability, properly connected and programmed, to interface with the outside world and control the actions of a machine like a robot or conveyor.  The PLC has a processor for processing the user programmed logic, and also […]

A proper thermometer that includes an indication of dangerous temperatures and a needle stop.

Product Design is Critical to Consumer Safety

As the holiday season nears, thoughts turn to wonderful home cooked meals with family.  Few things in life are more pleasurable than a traditional holiday turkey feast. Yet for an unfortunate few, holiday meal time can turn tragic if a turkey frying accident occurs.   While fried turkeys may be tasty, many fire safety experts feel […]

[SLIDESHARE] Ovens and Furnaces

Safety through design is a critical consideration in oven and furnace manufacturing. This slideshow takes a look at industry standards governing their design and identifies common safety oversights. Ovens and Furnaces from Warren Forensics

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