Fire Suppression for Buses and Coaches becomes mandatory
From July this year, a new amendment of the European UNECE Regulation 107 became mandatory, requiring the installation and testing of fire suppression systems in engine compartments of new buses and coaches. For many, however, the amended regulations will come too late. It seems every week we read about another devastating bus or coach fire somewhere in the UK, which in many instances has resulted in the destruction of the entire vehicle.
When looking more closely into Government statistics on vehicle fires, records show that between 2011-2017, 61% of all recorded bus and coach fires in the UK started within the engine compartment. Out of this 61% or 1,424 buses and coaches, 216 of these vehicles were completely destroyed. More worryingly, but not surprisingly, 29% of these fires started with passenger’s present. While most were safely evacuated, there were 26 fatalities recorded.
Such appalling events can have very serious side-effects for those affected, not least the human element. Operators can expect to see a loss of business continuity and damage to reputation, while the loss of asset may seriously affect the future of a business. It is estimated that the cost to replace these vehicles would run into the tens of millions of pounds.
How does ‘UNECE R107’ affect bus and coach operators within the UK?
The new UNECE regulations affect category M2 and M3 vehicles, specifically those which carry 22 passengers or more; namely Class I, II and III vehicles within the 37 signatory countries.
From July 2018 it is compulsory for all new types of Class III vehicles (seated passengers i.e. coaches) to be fitted with an R107 approved fire suppression system. This will then be rolled out to all existing types from July 2019.*
For Class I and II vehicles (e.g. city buses allowing standing passengers) it will become compulsory from September 2020 for all new types of vehicles to be fitted with an R107 approved fire suppression system. From September 2021, this regulation will apply to all new vehicles.*
What is an Approved ‘UNECE R107’ Fire Suppression System?
RISE – The Research Institutes of Sweden has been at the forefront of establishing the R107 approval test in support of the new regulation. The European legislation through UNECE extracted 4 of the 11 tests of SP Method 4912 which were then adopted into Regulation No. 107.
Below is a video of Test No.5 being conducted at the RISE research facility in Sweden using the approved Reacton® R107 Fire Suppression System which is exclusively distributed in the UK by Fireward Ltd.
With transparency in mind, RISE publish details of all manufacturers who carry the R107 approval. Bus and coach operators can additionally view the certification details of all approved fire suppression systems. For example, the approved system distributed by Fireward consists of 6kg of ABC Dry Powder using just 4 nozzle discharge points for a 4m3 engine compartment.
The R107 approval allows for both downscaling and upscaling of an approved system depending on the volume of the engine bay that requires protection, ensuring all vehicles are fitted with a fire suppression system which has been tailored correctly to the fire risk area.
Click Here to view the Reacton® R107 approval certification:
Why choose a Fireward Fire Suppression System to protect your valuable asset?
The approved R107 Automatic Fire Suppression System from Fireward Ltd has proved itself to be the most versatile, cost-effective, compact and effective system available in the UK today.
When a fire occurs, the detection tube bursts at the point of highest heat in under 10 seconds. Upon activation, the suppression agent – ABC Dry Powder, is delivered through a network of hoses leading to strategically placed nozzles within the engine bay.
The scope of the release of powder attacks not only the source of the fire but ensures complete coverage across the entire engine bay. Being solely pneumatic, the system is designed to work without any external power meaning 24/7 protection, which is essential when combined with the harsh conditions commonly found within a bus or coach engine.
The resulting benefit means that once the engine bay has been cleaned and the fire suppression system has been recommissioned, the vehicle is capable of returning to normal operation within hours.
Fireward leads the fire suppression industry with a fleet of fully certified engineers delivering on their promise to protect both people and assets through the quality of their service and systems, delivering exceptional reliability.
* Resource: RISE – Testing and P marking certification of fire suppression systems in engine compartments of buses and coaches document – Click Here