A study of the fire safety of a bus supplied by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Transit Authority was conducted. The objectives of the work were: (1) to determine the minimum ignition from source necessary to initiate a fire in the bus, and (2) to determine the means by which a fire, once started, is most likely to grow and spread. A series of small-scale laboratory tests were run in addition to the three full-scale tests. Tests showed that accidental ignition by a cigarette or dropped match in unlikely. However, the seat can be ignited with one or two matches, if applied at the proper location, as by an arsonist. In full-scale tests, ignition of the seat occurs readily with the following ignition sources: (1) a small bag of paper trash on the seat, (2) a newspaper under the seat, or (3) if the contents of a can of lighter fluid is poured on the seat. Fire growth and spread in the bus is primarily through involvement of the seat cushioning. Fire spreads from seat to seat with little direct involvement of other interior materials. In all three tests, between one or two minutes after the urethane ignited, dense smoke filled the bus space seriously reducing visibility. Spread of fire beyond the seat of origin is not necessary for the level of smoke to be formed.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Bureau of Standards

    Center for Fire Research
    Washington, DC  United States  20234
  • Authors:
    • Braun, E
  • Publication Date: 1975-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 22 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00091854
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NBSIR-75-718 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 10 1976 12:00AM