Know your fire safety facts

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Fire safety is often not the first thing on a depot manager’s mind in the day-to-day running of their business, but when fire strikes it can be utterly destructive. Coach firms have suffered.

In March 2017, a fire broke out at Company Coaches in Ferrybridge near Wakefield. Flames in a 30m by 50m commercial coach storage depot were reportedly 40ft high and needed eight fire engines to be put out.

A few weeks later, in April, an Oxford Bus Company coach caught fire at Oxford’s Gloucester Green coach terminal. The “substantial” fire involved the engine bay and rear section of the coach, one of the company’s airline services between Oxford and Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. The fire required firefighters to wear breathing apparatus and high-pressure jets to bring the fire under control and prevent it spreading to the remainder of the vehicle. Police had to establish a cordon to keep members of the public at a safe distance.

And in May 2017, a fire broke out at David Ogden’s coach depot in Sutton, near Northwich. The incident, which destroyed three single-decker buses and two mini buses, required two fire engines to attend. The fire was suspected arson and was the second in a week for the depot.

The problem for the sector is that the very nature of the business and the potential number of people – staff and passengers – involved raises the risk level. Fire safety needs to be a priority.[…]

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