Fires in buses

Materials in buses are considerable more flammable than for instance upholsteries in trains or ships. One cause is the low international fire requirements.

A number of serious lethal fire accidents including buses have occurred worldwide the latest years. Fully 1 % of all buses encounter fire incidents every year. It is about 5-10 times more common with a bus on fire than a truck. In Sweden there has not been any severe bus fires with personal injuries since the seventies even though there has been severe accidents, last in Arboga 2006 when nine passengers died when a bus tipped.

The fires often start in the engine compartment. Today the insurance companies requires extinguishing systems in the engine compartment in new buses. We are testing the detection and the extinguishing systems for fires in the engine compartment.

More stringent requirements on interior materials used in the passenger comapartment in combination with an efficient extinguishing system in the engine compartment reduces the risks for the passengers. SP is testing products used in buses.

The work to improve the international test procedures and performance requirements has been started on the initiative of the Swedish and Norwegian national road administrations. This work is based upon results from the testing and research performed by us.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail info@ri.se

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