SP Fire Research Completes Pre-Study of Post-Collision Fires in Road Vehicles

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

Source: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

The loss of human lives and body injuries as a consequence of post-crash fires–whether by smoke inhalation or due to burn injuries–is unfortunately not uncommon.The literature indicates that fire events related to crashes are still a significant problem.

The increased combustible load in newer vehicles is an important factor to be taken into account for the fire safety, as well as their potential to release toxic fumes while burning. Trends indicate that the survivable collision energy will continue to increase and, at the same time, the probability of post-crash fires rises with the collision energy. This means that the occupants of a vehicle may probably survive a high energy collision but will sustain severe injuries or death due to a post-collision fire.

SP Fire Research has carried out a pre-study where a literature survey about post-crash fires was done including statistics on the causes and dynamics of post-crash fires in road vehicles. The pre-study is based on the literature, crash, and incident reports as well as on interviews with medicine specialists. Further, a study about current fire legislation, environmental aspects of fires, and a literature study on materials used for the manufacturing of vehicles and their relation to post-crash fires are included.

Results from this study indicate that fires in vehicles originated by a collision event are a problem needed to solve and more research is needed.

The SP Report 2015:55 can be downloaded from:  http://publikationer.extweb.sp.se/user/default.aspx?RapportId=32119


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