School, inter-city buses need to install fire alarm, protection system


The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has issued a notification to introduce fire alarm and suppression systems in inter-city passenger buses and school buses.

Fire protection systems would be installed in the passenger compartment of buses designed and constructed for long distance transport and in school buses, an official statement said on Saturday. At present, fire detection, alarm and suppression systems are notified for fires originating from the engine compartment, as per Automotive Industry Standard-135.

“The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, vide notification dated 27th January 2022, has introduced the fire alarm system and fire protection system in the passenger (or, occupant) compartment in buses through an amendment in the AIS (Automotive Industry Standard)-135 for Type III buses (type III Vehicles are those designed and constructed for long distance passenger transport, for seated passengers )and school buses,” the statement said.

The statement pointed out that studies on fire incidents indicate that injuries to passengers are mainly due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment.


“These injuries can be prevented if the heat and smoke in the passenger compartment is controlled by providing an additional evacuation time to occupants by thermal management during fire incidents,” it said.

The statement said a water mist- based active fire protection system and a standalone fire alarm system for buses has been designed to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment within 50 degrees centigrade.

This amendment to the standard has been undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and experts from the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), a DRDO establishment, working in the area of fire risk assessment, fire suppression technologies, modelling and simulation etc, it said.

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