Our president and chief executive officer, Lance D. Harry, explains in this interview regarding the recent local school bus engine compartment fire that school bus fires happen too frequently and fire suppression for this application is available. Fortunately, in this case, the student players, coaches, and the driver where able to exit the bus in a timely fashion without injury. In many cases, special needs students do not have the mobility to exit the vehicle as rapidly and are at greater risk. See our School Bus Fire Protection for All Sources of Power Including Electric Brochure.
The decision to equip school buses with a fire suppression systems is the decision of the school district. However, often, industry best practice is guided by comprehensive, third party research which typically leads to strong recommendations and/or government regulation. Recently the need for automatic fire suppression was highlighted in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report from the school bus fire incident in Oakland, Iowa, December 2017. This report recommends that: The US Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and specific bus manufacturers require in-service school buses to be equipped with fire suppression systems that at a minimum address engine fires. A copy of the report can be found here
Stat-X® highly advanced fire suppression technology offers the most compact and economical fixed fire extinguishing solution available for engine compartments. A Stat-X unit consists of an extremely rugged, hermetically sealed, stainless steel canister containing a stable, solid compound. The canister is durable, non-pressurized, and is capable of withstanding harsh environments. In the event of a fire, Stat-X units automatically release ultra-fine particles and propellant inert gasses which quickly and effectively extinguish fires without depleting oxygen levels. Stat-X is UL listed for Class A (surface), B, and C fires.
More information about fire protection in school buses.
We appreciate the efforts of WCCO News in highlighting this local school bus fire. The risk of a catastrophic fire puts lives and assets at risk. This topic needs to have more discussion at the district level as it is critical that we all work together to protect what matters most.