Posted on 29/11/2023 in Transport Fire Safety 2023
Review of car park fires

Summary of four major fires and eight research fire tests, concludes risks are increasing and fire spread accelerating. Car park fires analysed include Liverpool (2017), Cork (2019), Stavanger airport (2020), Märsta (2021), along with published full-scale fire tests from 1997 to 2022. Increasing vehicle size means that cars are today closer together in car parks, increasing the risk of fire spread and making fire fighting intervention more difficult. Despite increasing use of plastics, fire test results do not show clear correlation to heat release rate. Car fire development depends strongly on behaviour of fuel tanks (which are today plastic) and ventilation (breakage of windows). Recent tests suggest that in some cases electric vehicles may cause fire spread more rapidly than internal combustion engine vehicles. Challenges are identified as new car fuels (electric, hydrogen), increasing car park densification, including stacking systems and self-parking.

“Car Park Fires: A Review of Fire Incidents, Progress in Research and Future Challenges”, C. Meraner, in Proceedings from the Seventh International Conference on Fires in Vehicles, Stavanger, Norway, April 24-25, 2023, RiSE

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