Buses fail extinguisher test

A recent raid of tour coaches in Victoria found several fire extinguishers failed the ‘fire-ready’ test

Buses fail extinguisher test
Buses fail extinguisher test

January 8, 2013

As Australia swelters and bushfires rage across the landscape, alarming news comes from Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) that several buses recently failed an audit of on-board fire extinguishers.

A joint compliance operation with TSV and Parks Victoria targeting tour buses at the Twelve Apostles National Park and at Philip Island’s penguin parade found about one in two buses had adequately tested fire extinguishers.

The compliance team reports 18 out of the 40 buses inspected did not have fire extinguishers tested within the required time frame and 11 did not have up-to-date emergency response plans.

TSV’s bus safety director Stephen Turner says bus operators must ensure their fire extinguishers are in working order and that their bus drivers have at hand up-to-date response plans.

"The importance of having a working fire extinguisher is paramount, especially during the summer months," he says.

"Fire extinguishers on buses must be inspected by a competent person or organisation every six months."

Turner says bus operators should retain copies of the inspection certificates of assurance or invoices and receipts for maintenance carried out by the service provider.

"Unless fitted fire extinguishers are maintained in operating condition, buses cannot be used," Turner says, in reference to Victorian bus operation legislation.

"It is also a mandatory requirement for commercial bus operators to develop and maintain a First Response Emergency Plan which provides their bus drivers with relevant contact numbers and emergency instructions.

"Knowing what to do and who to contact in an emergency is critical to ensuring the ongoing safety of passengers and the bus operator’s employees," Turner says.

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