Railways Takes Steps to Improve Fire Safety in Trains
In order to improve the safety of passengers, a number of steps are being taken by the Indian Railways to prevent fire accidents in trains. Indian Railways have always endeavored to enhance fire worthiness of coaches by using fire retardant furnishing materials to mitigate effect of fire. Specifications for such furnishing materials have been periodically reviewed to incorporate fire retardant parameters in line with UIC and other international norms. All new manufacture of coaches/periodical overhauling of existing coaches is being carried out with fire retardant specifications of the furnishing materials wherever condition based replacements are warranted.
With a view to improve fire safety in running trains, a pilot project for provision of Comprehensive Fire and Smoke Detection System has been taken up in one rake of New Delhi – Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express on East Coast Railway. Besides, one LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) New Delhi – Jammu Tawi Rajdhani and one rake of LHB AC Double Decker Coaches running between Kachiguda – Tirupati/Guntur have also been provided with such a system.
Fire extinguishers are being provided in all Air-conditioned coaches, Second class – cum – guard and luggage vans, Pantry cars and train locomotives. Improved materials for electrical fittings and fixtures such as MCB, light fittings, terminal boards, connectors, etc., are being used progressively. Detailed instructions have been issued to zonal railways for observance of safe practices in handling of pantry cars and for ensuring periodical inspection of electrical and LPG fittings in the pantry cars. Further with an aim to spread awareness among passengers ,intensive publicity campaigns are being launched to prevent the travelling public from carrying inflammable goods along with them.
Fire fighting arrangements have also been made at railway stations by Indian Railways Each station is provided with two dry chemical powder type fire extinguishers. Fire buckets filled with dry sand and water are provided at all stations. Safety posters for operating various types of fire extinguishers have been displayed at stations. At large stations, smoke detectors are being installed. Front line staff such as Station Masters have been imparted regular training to operate fire extinguishers. Periodic drills on fire fighting are being conducted on regular basis. The telephone number of nearby fire brigades is kept available at Railway stations. Frequent drives against carrying of inflammable/dangerous articles in trains as well as station premises are undertaken. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.