SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Fire Department announced Wednesday that a new piece of technology will help fire marshals investigate arsons.

The hydrocarbon and accelerant detector finds traces of liquids used to accelerate fires.

“The capabilities of the hydrocarbon detector will be critical in determining whether a fire is arson,” said Fire Marshal Travis Morrissey in a news release.

Picture courtesy: Springfield Fire Department

Fire marshals who determine a fire might be arson can often have a difficult time figuring out the best place to obtain a sample of accelerant at a scene. A hydrocarbon detector is a tool that can detect trace levels of accelerant.

This tool can also be used by a bomb squad to investigate scenes to determine what type of substance was used to build an explosive.

The hydrocarbon detector was put into service by the Springfield Fire Department in early November and cost $1,860.