Study concludes that increasing fire hazard of vehicles means more “devastating fires” in parking structures. In a 30 page analysis based on nearly eighty references, the authors conclude that vehicle parking structures represent an increasing risk of major fires because of larger vehicles, increasing use of polymers and other combustible materials in vehicles, plastic fuel tanks, use of plastics in bodywork (facilitating fire spread to other vehicles), electric vehicles, because of changes in parking design, such as multi-level garages, denser parking slots and also mechanical vehicle stacking/parking systems, and also because of a general lack of requirements for active fire protection systems in parking in fire codes. Weight of plastics in cars is estimated to have doubled from c. 80 kg in the 1970’s to 160 kg today. The authors conclude that fire codes and regulations should not be based on fire test data for vehicles older than 2000-2005.
“Fire Hazard Analysis of Modern Vehicles in Parking Facilities”, H. Bohmer et al., Fire Technology 2021 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-021-01113-1