Vehicle fires involving buses

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Report: NFPA's "Vehicle Fires Involving Buses and School Buses"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: August 2006

This analysis was  prepared for the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB’s) Public Hearing on Motorcoach Fires on August 8th and 9th, 2006 that was called in response to the September 2005 Texas motorcoach fire that claimed 23 lives. The analysis has statistics on bus and school bus fires reported to local fire departments and includes information by: year, day of week, time of day, month, property use, cause, factor contributing to ignition, heat source, area of fire origin and item first ignited.

Executive Summary

During the five-year period of 1999-2003, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 2,210 bus or school bus fires per year. These fires caused an estimated annual average of three civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries, and $24.2 million in direct property damage per year. In 1999-2003, bus or school bus fires accounted for 1% of the total reported vehicle fires, 1% of the vehicle fire deaths, 2% of the vehicle fire injuries, and 2% of the vehicle fire property damage. On average, six bus or school bus fires were reported every day.