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ANALYSIS


Understanding the Fire Block Test


WRITTEN BY BRANDON BILLINGSLEY


School Bus Specifications & Procedures. At first glance, this seemingly complicated test is actually very simple, yet effective. To outline, we’ll relate to an actual test procedure.


W DOORS CAMERA VIEWING AREA HEIGHT CENTERED ON LENGTH SCHOOL BUS SEAT UPHOLSTERY FIRE BLOCK TEST


A. Test Chamber Cross Section Te suggested test chamber is the same cross section as the bus body in which seats are used with the


rear section on each end. If an actual bus is not used, the cross section is to be 91 inches (plus or minus 1 inch) in width by 75 inches (plus or minus 3 inches) in height. Tere shall be a door, which does not provide ventilation, in the center of each end of the test chamber. Te doors shall be 38 (plus or minus 3 inches) in width and 53 (plus or minus 3 inches) in height and include a latch to keep the doors closed during the test.


VENTILATION OPENINGS


hat goes into a fire block seat? How is it different from FMVSS 302? It’s in the bag burn test, a test protocol adopted in 1993 by NHTSA. Te federal standard resulted in part to help prevent the type of fire that occurred during the Carrolton, Ky., church bus crash in 1988.


Adopted by NCST, the standard appears below, as published on pages 304-307 of the 2010 National


DETAIL“A” WIDTH


END CROSS SECTION RECOMMENDED TO BE SAME AS BUS BODY


LENGTH SEE DETAIL“A”


MINIMUM SEAT


SPACING


MINIMUM SEAT


SPACING


MINIMUM SEAT


SPACING


MINIMUM LENGTH


Te test chamber in the actual test (pictured at left) at the MGA lab in Wisconsin, is more than adequate and is constructed with a cutaway from a Type A bus body. Notice the bag in the test chamber “position A” is just that, a lunch bag, as specified, filled with newspaper, as specified. Hence the name “Bag Burn Test."


Length


Te length of the test chamber shall allow three rows of seats at the minimum spacing.


Ventilation One ventilation opening shall be in each end of the test chamber and shall be 325 square inches, plus or minus 42 School Transportation News May 2014


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