Public and school buses in India mandated to get active fire protection system


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India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has mandated that all passenger and school buses will have to be equipped with a fire alarm system and fire protection system. The ministry has issued a notification that says the fire alarm system and fire protection system have been made mandatory for long-distance passenger transport and school buses through an amendment in the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS), across the entire country.

These buses will be equipped with a water mist-based active fire protection system and a standalone fire alarm system. This will be applied to the buses that have been designed to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment within 50 degrees Celsius. Fire detection, alarm, and suppression systems were so far meant for fires originating from the engine compartment, the Hindustan Times reported.

But the notification said that fire incidents indicate injuries to passengers mainly happen due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment. The notification also said that these injuries can be prevented if the heat and smoke in the passenger compartment are controlled by providing an additional evacuation time to occupants by thermal management during fire incidents. 

The ministry said that this amendment to the automotive industry standard has been undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and experts from the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety
(CFEES), a DRDO arm, working in fire risk assessment, fire suppression technologies, modelling, and simulation etc.

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