European Bus Operators' Forum - Jonas Brandt


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European Bus Operators' Forum - Jonas Brandt

  1. 1. New test method for fire suppression systems inengine compartments of buses and coachesJonas BrandtProject ManagerSP Technical Research Institute of Sweden,Department of Fire Technology(
  2. 2. Location of SP
  3. 3. Daily in the press
  4. 4. Low number of casualties but potential for a catastrophe
  5. 5. Fire department call-outs to bus fires in SwedenThe fire department is called out to approx. 0.85 % of all buses every year0204060801001201401602005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011Number of bus fire call-outs in Sweden
  6. 6. Bus fires – a common issue world wide• Report from Germany:• 350 - 400 bus fires is reported every year inGermany (0.4 % of all buses)Source: PUBA (2010)• Report from Finland:• Bus fires has almost doubled in Finland over thelast 10 yearsSource: VTT (2010)• Report from USA:• An average of six bus or school bus fires reportedevery day in USASource: NFPA (2006)
  7. 7. Fire source and area of originDepending on the survey, the proportion of Engine compartment fires isbetween 40 – 75% of all bus fires.42%20%8%7%2%2%19%Bus fire area of origin during year 2011 in SwedenEngine compartmentWheel wellAuxiliary heaterElectrical fault (differentareas)Arson (Passenger area)Welding work (external)Other/Unknown
  8. 8. Situation when fire department arrives53%26%17%4%Situation when fire department arrives (Sweden 2011)Bus on fireFire extinguished by driverand/or automaticextinguishing systemNo fire (self-exinction orno fire)Only smoke developmentfrom coolant leakage
  9. 9. € 0€ 10,000€ 20,000€ 30,000€ 40,000€ 50,000€ 60,0002002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011PaidinsurancefundsYearAutomatic fire suppression systems have reduced the costsSource: Swedish Insurance companies, 2012Average cost per bus fire for insurance companies in Sweden
  10. 10. Fire Suppression Technologies• More than 15 manufacturers of Fire Suppression systems for busand coach engine compartments in the world.• Different technologies to extinguish engine fires.• For example:- Dry Chemical (ABC-powder and BC-powder)- Wet Chemical (e. g. foam)- Water mist- Aerosol- Clean Agent (gaseous system)• Are they all good enough?• How can these systems be validated?.•
  11. 11. Full scale fire suppression tests
  12. 12. Result from the test
  13. 13. Some general conclusions after testing fire suppression systems• It is generally difficult to extinguish engine fires• The systems works well if they are installed, designed andmaintained in a proper way• The suppression system must cover the fire hazard areas• There is a need for quality control procedures to ensure those factorsare controlled
  14. 14. The background for SP’s work to develop standards forfire suppression in buses• Still high cost for society due to bus fires• A lack of guidelines and standards to ensure the performance ofinstalled AFSS – a request from the society (e.g. Swedish TransportAgency)• A wish from SP to develop relevant standards which could be usedwhen making AFSS for buses mandatory
  15. 15. • Supported by the Swedish Transport Agency, SP has developed anew test method (SP Method 4912) to test AFSS for buses andcoaches• Fire suppression testing according to SP Method 4912– Must pass tests with different fire scenarios, ventilation level andobstructions– Must show a certain re-ignition protectionNew test method for AFSS
  16. 16. Example of a fire suppression test
  17. 17. Proposal for amendment on Reg. 107• SP Method 4912 is proposed as an amendment of UNECERegulation 107. Hopefully to be accepted and voted through at theGRSG group of UN ECE as well as WP.29.• Aim: Installation of fire suppression systems in engine compartmentwill be mandatory for all new buses (category M2 and M3).
  18. 18. Jonas BrandtProject ManagerSP Technical Research Institute of Sweden,Department of Fire Technology(