Following a number of recent bus fires around the country, leading fire protection specialist Wormald is calling for bus companies and transit authorities to ensure their vehicles are equipped with vehicle fire suppression systems compliant with Australian Standard, AS 5062-2006: Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment.
AS 5062-2006 (the Standard) specifies the minimum requirements for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of vehicle fire suppression systems.
Wormald National Product Manager for Vehicle Systems, Steve Oxley said, “Providing protection against fire on vehicles poses unique and specific challenges. To ensure the highest level of protection possible, our recommendation is that vehicle and fleet managers not only install up-to-date fire protection systems and equipment but also make sure that those systems are compliant with AS 5062.
“Although not mandatory, the Standard should be recognised as best Australian industry practice by every fire protection company,” he continues. “A key element of the Standard is that it promotes rigorous processes for risk analysis and assessment as a prerequisite. This assists in determining the areas of the vehicle with greatest risk in order to recommend the most appropriate systems to protect them.”
In the event of a fire, the principal aim of a vehicle fire suppression system is to provide early detection and warning so occupants of the bus are given time to safely evacuate while also automatically suppressing the fire to help minimise damage to the vehicle. An important component of AS 5062 is the requirement for regular inspection, testing, preventative maintenance and survey procedures for the vehicle fire suppression systems. This helps ensure that the systems are fully functional and will perform as designed in the event of a fire.
According to Oxley, bus drivers and operators should also be fully trained on how to manually activate the vehicle fire suppression systems when necessary and how to operate other fire protection equipment located in their vehicles, such as portable fire extinguishers.
“Passengers have the expectation of safe travel on all public transport vehicles and rely on bus companies and transport authorities to have appropriate safety provisions in place,” says Oxley. ”We recommend vehicle operators, including bus drivers, are aware of their vehicle's fire protection equipment and are fully trained on how to use it.”
Wormald’s Foam Water Spray Vehicle Fire Suppression System achieved approval listing to AS 5062 by undergoing and successfully passing a series of rigorous fire tests and system component stress tests. The Foam Water Spray System features high pressure, small droplet nozzles targeting high and medium risk areas, such as engine and transmission compartments and hydraulic areas, and utilises the fire suppression and containment features of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF).