A Swedish institute has developed a new standard for fire suppression systems in engine compartments of buses and coaches.

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden launched the project in 2005 with the objective of creating a safer environment for passengers and bus drivers worldwide.

SP officials said that a reference group provided valuable input and know-how for the standards development. International representatives from suppression manufacturers, insurance companies, bus associations, transit authorities and bus manufacturers contributed.

The work was carried out in part on behalf of the National Road Authority in Sweden. Officials said that the goal was to construct a model of an engine compartment where stakeholders can evaluate the firefighting performance of different suppression systems in a well-defined and objective way.

The new standard, SP method 4912, edition 3, has just been published.

SP has also established a voluntary certification/quality mark for the industry: the P-mark.

Officials said that a P-mark “certifies that the product meets the requirements of relevant standards, regulations, etc., and that the manufacturer or importer operates an approved inspection and quality control scheme.”

To obtain a P-mark in accordance with SPCR 183, the fire suppression system has to fulfill the requirements in SP method 4912, in which the capacity of the system to extinguish different types of fires is evaluated. Also, testing of all components as part of the system is required.

“This means that detectors, electrical/electronic components and control panels will be performance tested for harsh environments," including temperature and humidity extremes, SP officials said.

For more information, go to www.sp.se/safebus.

The new standard will likely be a topic of discussion at the annual conference of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services in Memphis, Tenn., next week. Fredrik Rosen, marketing manager at SP’s Department of Fire Technology, is scheduled to give a presentation titled “Can We Improve Fire Safety on Buses and Coaches?”

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