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Fire Detection and Fire Alarms in Heavy Vehicles

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Transport policies
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Passenger transport,
Freight transport



The aim of the project was to develop an international test method for fire detection systems in the engine compartment of buses and other heavy vehicles.


The work within WP1 has provided a description of available detection technologies, a summary of relevant standards and guidelines and an overview of up-to-date research in the field of fire detection in vehicles.

The efforts of WP2 have provided measurement data and theoretical background of durability factors associated with the environment in engine compartments of heavy vehicles.

In WP3 information on fire causes and on how to perform a risk analysis was presented. Such an analysis is required to identify fire risks and to know how to install a fire detection system in a vehicle.

Input from WP1, WP2 and WP3 was crucial in the work of defining requirements and scenarios for the fire detection tests included in the test method developed in WP6.

The purpose of WP4 was to test and evaluate relevant fire detection systems to determine characteristics and advantages/disadvantages of the different systems. The tests were the basis for the definition of fire scenarios, test setups, test procedures and test requirements implemented in the new test method.

The work within WP5 has provided recommendations on what type of fire detection system that should be used and how these systems should be installed in bus and coach toilet compartments and driver sleeping compartments. This was the only work package without purpose of providing background information for the development of a new test method for fire detection in engine compartments.

The overall effort of the project and the final work within WP6 has resulted in a new test method; SP Method 5320 “Test method for fire detection systems installed in engine compartments of heavy vehicles”.


SP Method 5320, a test method for fire detection systems installed in engine compartments of heavy vehicles, evaluates performance and durability of the detection system.

Fire detection systems tested in accordance with SP Method 5320 can obtain the P-mark, the quality mark of SP approved products, if certification rules SPCR 197 is fulfilled. In the certification rules, also developed in connection to WP6, an additional requirement in form of a risk assessment is included.

The purpose for this is to adapt the installation of the system to the specific engine compartment in terms of specific fire hazards and the prevailing environmental conditions. Air flow, obstructions, fire loads etc. shall be accounted for and thus contribute to ensure that the system design has the ability to cover the identified fire hazards and achieve fast detection regardless of where in the engine compartment the fire originates.

For buses and coaches, SP Method 5320 will complement SP Method 4912 to include both fire detection and fire suppression in the P-mark certification of fire safety systems.

As previously done for fire suppression, where parts of SP Method 4912 have been implemented in the European legislation for buses, through UNECE Regulation 107, also parts of SP Method 5320 will form the basis for a proposal of new requirements for fire detection to be implemented in UNECE Regulation 107


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