Testing and P-mark certification of fire suppression systems in engine compartments of buses and coaches

A P-marked fire suppression system for buses and coaches complies to an extensive testing program.  The UNECE Regulation No. 7, Annex 13 was created based on our test procedures.

The majority of bus fires start in the engine compartment, usually out of sight of the bus driver. Once a fire has started it is important to detect, control and ultimately extinguish the fire as early as possible to avoid injuries, loss of lives, costs related to property damages and to secure business continuity. Further, an efficient fire detection and suppression system greatly enhances the time available for safe escape in the event of a fire.

UNECE Regulation No. 107 Annex 13

The European legislation through UNECE has extracted 4 of 11 tests of SP Method 4912 which have been adopted in Regulation No. 107 Annex 13.

RISE is an appointed Technical Service for the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). This means that our fire test reports can be  used as a basis for UNECE type approvals issued by the Swedish Transport Agency which is the Swedish National Type Approval Authority.  The UNECE Type Approvals for e.g. fire suppression systems based on the results of the tests performed in accordance with UNECE Regulation 107 at our facilities can be used in the whole European Union.

The regulation states that installation and testing of fire suppression systems will be mandatory in engine compartments of all single-deck, double-deck, rigid or articulated vehicle of category M2 or M3 and specifically vehicles having a capacity exceeding 22 passengers. For Class III vehicles (seated passengers i.e. coaches) it will become compulsory July 2018 for new types of vehicles and July 2019 for all existing types. For Class I and II vehicles (e.g. city buses allowing standing passengers) it will become compulsory September 2020 (new types) and 2021 (all). The regulation also requires risk analysis to be performed before installing a system in an engine compartment.

P-mark certification process

The basis for P-mark certification SPCR 183 (certification rules)

is the fire testing required in SP method 4912. A fire suppression system tested in accordance with SP method 4912 has shown its functionality as the system has been fire tested in a repeatable, reproducible and objective way to realistic fire hazards that can occur on a bus (see next page). A P-marked system further demonstrates a high degree of robustness as it is also tested for resistance to harsh environments in internationally accepted vehicle standards, in addition to the SP method 4912 fire tests.

A reliable test method

SP Method 4912 is carried out in a test enclosure where the fire-fighting performance of different suppression systems can be evaluated in a well-defined and objective way.  In the typified enclosure, different petrol-based fires are initiated that challenge the capability of the suppression system being tested. The test method includes realistic airflows and relevant fire scenarios. In addition, the test method is repeatable and reproducible. The test method also includes testing of re-ignition due to fuel spray of flammable liquid onto hot surfaces.

P-mark requirements for SPCR 183

  • Minimum rating of 6
  • Test 1 and Test 6 are compulsory
  • Test 5 or Test 7 are compulsory
  • 2 additional tests in addition to the compulsory ones
    must be passed
  • Most severe low fire load test passed shall be performed
    with reduced mass of extinguishing agent
    (ordinary mass of agent divided by 1.2)
  • Passed minimum operating temperature test

Fire test scenario

Fire test category

Airflow (m³/s)

Fire sources used

Remarks

Test 1

High fire load

0

Pool fires, pool fires with fibreboards, diesel spray

UNECE – required

P-mark– required

Test 2

Low fire load

0

Pool fires

Test 3

Hidden fire

0

Obstructed pool fires

Test 4

Class A-fire

0,5

Pool fires with wood crib

Test 5

High fire load

1,5

Pool fires, pool fires with fibreboards, diesel spray

UNECE– required

P-mark – required (pass either 5 or 7)

Test 6

Low fire load

1,5

Pool fires

UNECE– required

P-mark– required

Test 7

Hidden fire

1,5

Obstructed pool fires

P-mark – required (pass either 5 or 7)

Test 8

High fire load

3

Pool fires, pool fires with fibreboards, diesel spray

Test 9

Low fire load

3

Pool fires

Test 10

Hidden fire

3

Obstructed pool fires

Test 11

Hot surface
re-ignition

0

Dripping oil fire

UNECE– required
P-mark– required

 

For more information about testing or certification, please contact us!