DRDO develops fire detection and suppression system for passenger buses

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed for passenger buses a technology called ”Fire Detection and Suppression System (FDSS)”, a statement said. Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh witnessed here at the DRDO Bhawan the demonstration of FDSS — a technology which can detect fire in buses in less than 30 seconds and extinguish it in 60 seconds, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.

Demonstrations were given on water mist-based FDSS for passenger compartment and aerosol-based FDSS for engine fire, it said and added that the ministers were briefed about the various other programmes and systems. “DRDO”s Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi has developed the technology, which can detect the fire in passenger compartment in less than 30 seconds and then suppresses it in 60 seconds thereby reducing the risk to life and property to a significant extent,” the statement said.

The FDSS for passenger compartment comprises a water tank of 80 litre capacity, a 6.8 kg nitrogen cylinder pressurised to 200 bar installed at appropriate location in the bus and a network of tubing with 16 number of atomizers inside the passenger compartment, the statement said. The FDSS for the engine comprises an aerosol generator with which the fire suppression could be achieved within 5 seconds of the system activation.

The statement said CFEES has unique competency in the areas of fire risk assessment, fire suppression using different extinguishing mediums, modelling and simulation. It has developed systems for battle tanks, ships and submarines. The active fire protection system has been developed by CFEES as a defence spin-off technology for providing a solution to the fire incidents in passenger buses, it said.

Although, the fire threat is present in all the vehicles, the highest concern emanates from special vehicles particularly the school buses and the sleeper coaches for long distance travel, the statement said adding as on date, only the engine fire is regulated for fire safety.
Mr. Gadkari described the development of FDSS as a very significant step towards bus passenger safety. He expressed satisfaction over the fact that fire safety has drawn the attention of the DRDO and said that it would be very important to take forward the development.