One bus a month ablaze in Victoria

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AUSTRALIA An average of one bus a month catches fire in Victoria, according to the latest statistics. With that in mind, government regulator, Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) is reminding bus operators to ensure they are equipped to deal with the risk of fire.

The latest TSV incident statistics show there were 24 instances of fires on buses across the state between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.

In a recent incident in April 2014, the fire occurred in the engine compartment, caused by the main electrical cable which was connected to the air-conditioning control panel.

TSV Director of Bus Safety Stephen Turner believes taking simple preventive measures is the best way to reduce the risk of bus fires.

“Faulty or insecure electrical wiring is a common factor in bus fires. However, this is easily preventable,” he told Australasia Bus & Coach magazine.

“It is important that operators have electrical wiring in their buses inspected. This includes ensuring wiring looms are routed and secured appropriately to prevent chafing on sharp edges.”

Turner also said having an emergency plan, including access to a working fire extinguisher, will help bus drivers to deal with a fire situation should it arise.

“Every commercial bus operator should develop and maintain a First Response Emergency Plan which provides their drivers with relevant contact numbers and emergency instructions. Having access to a fire extinguisher which is in working order should be a critical part of the plan.”

He said through TSV’s compliance operations, the regulator is seeing too many operators who don’t test their fire extinguisher within the required timeframe.