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NHVR releases safety bulletin about heavy vehicle fires

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) aims to reduce the risk of vehicle fires in the heavy vehicle industry with its latest safety bulletin, following ongoing investigation into causes and preventative actions.

NHVR Safety Standards Director, Tony Martin, said the intent of the safety bulletin is to raise awareness of common fire risks and outline actions to help mitigate risks.

“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,” said Martin.

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

The Bulletin outlines a number of common fire risks in heavy motor vehicles, including: shorting of electrical cables and connections; inappropriately rated electrical components; fuel line failures; the heat generated by a turbocharger; and maintaining a clean engine bay.

The NHVR said there are also preventative actions operators should take, including: reviewing the common causes of fires and identify those that may be present in their fleet; reviewing maintenance management systems to remove or reduce any risk factors and improve the safety of their transport activities; and ensuring those who carry out servicing or modification on higher-risk components or systems on their vehicles, such as electrical systems, have measures in place to verify that fire risks are not introduced.

Martin said that when an operator experiences a heavy vehicle fire incident, or a near-miss event, they should report the incident.

“This allows the NHVR to improve our understanding of this safety-critical issue,” he said. “Reports can be made to the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line or to the NHVR’s Vehicle Standards team. For operators accredited in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, reports can also be made to the NHVR’s Accreditation team.”

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