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Transport Ministry Pitches For Fire Detection, Alarm System On All New School, Intercity Buses

The fire alarm system shall be installed according to the system manufacturer's installation manual and the fire shall be detected and the warning signal shall be activated within 30 seconds after ignition of test fire

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The road transport ministry has proposed the installation of fire detection and alarm system in all new school and intercity buses to enhance safety in case of fire incidents.

The ministry has issued a draft notification to amend Automotive Industry Standards (AIS) based on experiments carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the introduction of protection of occupants from fire.

'Presently fire detection, alarm and suppression systems are notified for fires originating from the engine compartment.

'Provisions regarding the protection of occupants from the fire under this amendment are aimed at providing an additional evacuation time to the occupants and thus will further enhance the safety in fire incidents in buses,' the draft document said.

The fire alarm system shall be installed according to the system manufacturer's installation manual and the fire shall be detected and the warning signal shall be activated within 30 seconds after ignition of test fire, it said.

The buses will have water tanks and discharge of water as extinguishing agent shall be along the length of the bus, in three headers, in such a way that mist is targeted to the seats on the left side, right side with the nozzle spacing up to 1,500 mm as well as on the midsection of the ceiling for cooling of smoke layer, the document added.

The draft document pointed out that a majority of fatal and non-fatal injuries to passengers in bus fire accidents on Indian roads are due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment irrespective of the origin of the fire in the vehicle.

'The fatal and non-fatal injuries to passengers in bus fire accidents on Indian roads can be prevented if, irrespective of the origin of the fire in the vehicle, the heat and smoke in occupant compartment is controlled and thus providing an evacuation window to the occupants,' it noted.

The draft document is posted on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and all stakeholders can send their comments within 30 days.

Last year on November 9, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had witnessed the demonstration of Fire Detection and Suppression System (FDSS) -- a technology developed by DRDO, which can detect fire in buses in less than 30 seconds and extinguish it in 60 seconds.

Demonstrations were given on water mist-based FDSS for the passenger compartment and aerosol-based FDSS for an engine fire. 

(PTI)


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