Reducing the risk of heavy vehicle fires

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has released its first bulletin aimed at reducing the risk of heavy vehicle fires, highlighting causes and preventative measures that can be taken to mitigate risk.

The bulletin is part of the NHVR’s ongoing investigation into heavy vehicle fires after a spate of incidents in the past year, NHVR safety standards director Tony Martin says.

“The intent of this safety bulletin is to raise awareness of the common fire risks that have been identified and to outline the actions required to help mitigate the risks,” Martin says.

“We recently sat down with a cross section of industry to tackle the issue of truck fires and it is clear that prevention is better than cure.

“We’ve outlined some measures available to different parts of the heavy vehicle industry that can assist in fire prevention.”

The bulletin points to common fire risks in heavy motor vehicles, namely:

  • shorting of electrical cables and connections
  • inappropriately rated electrical components
  • fuel line failures
  • the heat generated by a turbocharger
  • maintaining a clean engine bay.

The report also highlights a number of preventative measures that operators can take including:

  • reviewing the common causes of fires and identifying those that may be present within their fleet
  • reviewing maintenance management systems to remove/reduce risk factors, and improve safety
  • ensuring that those who service or modify higher-risk vehicle components, have measures in place to mitigate against fire risks.