Investigating Bus Fires

August 4, 2023
Contact us
Request a call back

Following an increase in the number of bus fires reported to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) an investigation was launched into reported fires between 2020 and 2022. The DVSA has published the findings of this investigation.


DVSA highlight three key findings of the investigation:

  • Although concerns have been raised about heat generated by exhaust treatment systems DVSA could find no evidence that engine bay temperatures lead to premature degradation or engine fires when maintained correctly
  • Often when a fault is fixed, for example, overheating, no consideration is given to what else may have been affected by the fault. Consideration needs to be given to the degradation effect the overheating may have caused. Often the damage caused is irreversible and this can lead to future or premature failures or even fire
  • They did find evidence of drivers continuing to drive the vehicle when warning systems advise the vehicle should be stopped, and of drivers being given incorrect advice by depots to continue driving


Key recommendations made by the DVSA include:

  • Ensuring that any repairs undertaken are carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Drivers must understand the warning systems on the bus before they start any journey
  • Drivers must know how to use emergency equipment in the event of a thermal incident
  • Drivers must be trained and know the procedures for safe evacuation of passengers on the bus they are driving
  • Operator staff should not assume the driver has sufficient technical knowledge to ignore warning systems which advise to stop the vehicle
  • All reports of fire should be submitted to the DVSA as soon as practically possible after the incident
  • Operators should investigate the cause of the fire and produce a report providing the supporting evidence available

If you have any questions or would like support with managing issues at your workplace, please speak to your usual contact or get in touch using the form below.