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Fire Research Notes


Chandler, S.E., 1966. VEHICLE FIRES ON THE M. 1 MOTORWAY, 1964. Fire Research Notes 618


In 1964 fire brigades attended 96 fires on the M. 1 motorway and its associated roads, the M. 10 and M. 45. Not counting incidents in service areas or on slip roads, this represents an annual rate of incidence of 0.7 fires per Km (or 1.1 fires per mile) which compares unfavourably with fire incidence rates on other roads. Fires were more likely on predominantly downhill sections of the road and on the middle section of the road, notably in Buckinghamshire: they were not so frequent in Hertfordshire, the section with the greatest traffic density. Sixty-two of the fires were in lorries and tankers, 25 of these being attributed to tyre friction. Cars accounted for twenty-five incidents, of which 13 were due to electrical faults. Since cars and light vans were more numerous on the motorway than lorries, the figures show clearly that the fire risk on the motorway is greater with lorries than with ordinary motor cars. Firefighting could not always be carried out immediately, for often the appliances had a long journey from the fire station to the scene of the fire. In 24 incidents the fire had been extinguished before the arrival of the brigade. Of the remaining 72 incidents, 52 needed the use of hose reel jets, while power pumps and hydrants were utilised on 18 occasions. Rescues, escapes or casualties were a feature of 6 incidents. Three buses were evacuated. In the year there were one fatal and seven non-fatal fire casualties.

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