Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has introduced new red coloured buses in various routes. As a safety measure, all the new bright red coloured MTC buses which are plying in many important routes in Chennai city have been equipped with fire extinguishers. In fact most of the public transport buses in India are equipped with safety systems such as fire detectors, extinguishers and alarms. The new norm was formulated in the wake of several fire-related instances in the past.
The new Fire Detection, Alarm & Suppression System (FDSS) fixed in the buses will be able to detect fire hazards in the engine compartment using sensors that can receive inputs when temperatures are higher than usual or the rate of rise in temperature is abnormal. Even with a fire-suppression system installed in a bus the general maintenance procedure of the engine compartment is extremely important to fulfil. Poor maintenance and cleaning of the engine, engine compartment, hydraulics and so on will make the vehicle more prone to catch fire and also make it more difficult for the fire-suppression system to work properly Moreover leading bus manufacturers operating in India such as Ashok Leyland, Volvo, Scania, Eicher already sell products with such fire safety equipment. However, a good majority of existing MTC buses do not have at least a hand-operated fire extinguisher on board. Bus crew also need proper training in handling a fire extinguisher.Passengers hope that this will not be the case in the coming months.