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Intervention in the case of fires in road tunnels (ASTRA2002/005)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Fires of a large extent in tunnels are extraordinary events causing immense damage. The intervention and especially its planning require not only special technical knowledge of protection against fire, but also of construction and operating tunnels. The research project contains the preparation of technical bases for command staff, fire brigades, police services and rescue teams. The guideline will be used as basis for planning interventions and instructing staff, especially of fire brigades.


Create guideline concerning fire-fighting in tunnels.

- Basis for the processing and deployment of planning and training.
- Basis for communication between the operator and the fire brigade at an early planning phase.

The goal of this guide is to provide bases for emergency response planning and the training of emergency services.


- An analysis of the event phases.
- A fire brigade-related classification of the event scenarios.
- Insights into the problem of gas-fueled cars in tunnels.
- Investigation of truck fires with LPG cylinders.
- An analysis of gasoline release in tunnels.
- Insights to the fire influence on the operation of the fire ventilation and the use of high-performance ventilators.
- Requirements for fire access.
- Description of the relationship between the phases of the event and the fire brigade security.
- Smoke and temperature development taking into account different ventilation systems.
- An overview of the tunnel radio systems.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The guide provides basic knowledge, subdivided into three information blocks
and a comprehensive informative appendix. It deals with the aspects of tactical
emergency response, tunnel construction and fire physics. The scope contains
hazards caused by vehicle fires in road tunnels. Except of mineral oil products, the
release of dangerous substances, such as harmful chemicals, is not discussed.
In the information block about hazard scenarios, eight different hazardous
incidents are defined. For each of these scenarios, most important information,
needed for the emergency management, are provided. Information concerning the
organisation of the emergency services and the incident response are provided for
tunnel fires, which are classified as major hazards. Special emphasis is placed on
the peculiarity for the tactical response planning due to the confined space within
tunnels. The provided information on safety measures is based on analysis of
tunnel fire events and fire experiments as well as on the knowledge of tunnel
construction planning. Detailed information are compiled in the appendices.
The appendices contain a summary of bases referring to tunnel fires and fire
detection. The most important elements of tunnel ventilation and tunnel drainage
are also described in a clear and transparent way to facilitate understanding of the
principles involved. Finally, the appendices also provide information on
communication links, technical safety infrastructure, safety equipment and the
special equipment used by the fire brigade.

Policy implications

Guideline provides instruction for safety delegates, members of command staff, fire departments, police services and rescue teams.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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