The importance of automatic fire suppression systems

22 January 2013  •  Author(s): Jonas Brandt, Project Manager, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

This is the second and final part of an article to provide a background look at bus fires and to underline the importance of automatic fire suppression systems for buses and coaches. Bus and coach1 fires are a common issue in society. Given the fact that most fires start in the engine compartment, adequate active fire protection systems for engine compartments are advantageous both in terms of passenger safety, carrier and insurance company economy, and general public resource management. However, there is still no legislative demand for this course of action, nor an international standard for testing bus engine compartment fire suppression systems. For this reason, SP has recently developed a new standard named SP Method 4912.

SP Method 4912 describes a new method to test and validate the fire suppression performance of different suppression systems in a repeatable and reproducible way. A broad reference group including more than 80 companies such as bus manufacturers and operators, transport auth – orities, insurance companies, fire investigators and suppression system manufacturers have given valuable feedback to the development of the method. More than 450 pre-tests have been performed involving 10 fire suppression system manufacturers and with several different types of suppression agents, such as ABC- and BC-dry chemical, water mist, water spray and foam systems, aerosol and clean agent.

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