One of Britain’s largest specialist transport trade unions has called for an investigation into bus and coach fires following the publication of data showing a ‘concerning increase’ in recent years.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service statistics published by The Scotsman show that there have been over 200 incidents in Scotland since 2015 , with numbers rising over a three year period. Electrical faults were the leading cause of fire, with fuel line or pump problems and wheel or brake faults following closely behind.
Data published by Transport for London details an average of 12 fires each month on London alone. And in the US, this monthly average leaps to 177, with school bus fires reportedly occurring more frequently than coach fires.
With ‘an industry-wide approach to bus safety’ being called for to tackle this problem, automatic fire suppression systems should be considered by transport agencies as part of the solution. Although not mandated by most authorities, those such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the US do recommend, for example, that all new and in-service school buses be equipped with automatic fire suppression systems.
Operators seeking to install automatic fire suppression systems to their bus and coach fleets should seek a UNECE Regulation 107 and A+ rated SPCR 183 accredited system. The Fire Industry Association’s recently published fact file 89 provides UNECE Regulation 107 guidance to bus and coach operators, designers, testers, inspectors and installers to help increase the safety of buses and coaches.
Specific to fires in bus and coach engine compartments, Reacton Fire Suppression’s R107 and A+ rated SPCR 183 automatic systems will detect fire and deliver the extinguishing agent within seconds, minimising the spread of the fire and risk to passengers. These international quality marks ensure a system performs at the highest level in the most stringent and challenging conditions