Bus Fire Evacuation Protocol

In March 2019, the Bus Industry Confederation published an Advisory on Bus Fire Evacutation Protocols. The Advisory was developed as part of a safety project funded by the federal government through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative Funding Agreement, administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). The lead entity in delivering this project is the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC), overseen by a Working Committee and by representatives from the NHVR. The objective of the Advisory is to assist bus and coach operators in the delivery of tangible improvements in heavy vehicle safety with the adoption of a bus fire evacuation protocol including associated training packages that can be used to train bus drivers on how to reduce the risks associated with bus fires.
Download the Advisory Download
Download the Step by Step Guides Download

Practical templates and training tools

The Advisory contains practical hands-on templates for Operators to assist in the development of evacuation protocols and required training plans to address all of the recommendations provided in the Advisory.

The below documents should only be used in reference to the full Advisory.

There are a number of youtube videos that demonstrate some evacuation protocols and techniques. Jump to Video Selections.

Document 1 Download
In Bus Emergency Response Procedure Sample adapted from Brisbane City Council protocols. This template is a generic example of a one-page sheet accessible to the driver as a reminder of what to do in an emergency.
Document 2 Download
Vehicle Emergency Evacuation Procedures provided by Crown Coaches. This template is a more detailed example of a double-sided sheet to be accessible to the driver that details the emergency evacuation procedures.
Document 3 Download
Evacuation of Accessible Passengers provided by Crown Coaches. This template is a more detailed example of a training document accessible to the driver that details the emergency evacuation procedures to be used when evacuating passengers that may need to be physically carried from the bus.
Document 4 Download
On Road Emergency Procedure provided by the Dyson Group of Companies. This template is a more detailed example of a double-sided sheet to be accessible to the driver that details the emergency evacuation procedures.
Document 5 Download
Bus Fire and Evacuation Procedure Refresher Handout provided by Brisbane City Council. This template a handout aimed at providing refresher training for drivers in fire and evacuation procedures.
Document 6 Download
Generic Driver Pre-Departure and Operational Check Sheet designed by the Bus Industry Confederation in consultation with bus and coach industry representatives when developing an industry advisory on fire mitigation in 2014. This template provides a list of the items that a driver should check before departure so as to mitigate the fire risk.
Document 7 Download
Use of a Fire Extinguisher (Sample) provided by Clark’s Logan City Bus Service.This template is a generic instruction sheet for drivers on how to use a fire extinguisher.
Document 8 Download
Fire Extinguisher Standards and Approved Examples designed by the Bus Industry Confederation in consultation with bus and coach industry representatives when developing an industry advisory on fire mitigation in 2014. This template provides the size and type of portable fire extinguisher required for buses, rating and classification standard and maintenance tags.
Document 9 Download
Bus Inspection Sheet designed by the Bus Industry Confederation in consultation with bus and coach industry representatives when developing an industry advisory on fire mitigation in 2014. This template is a list of the items to be checked by maintenance staff so as to mitigate the fire risk.
Document 10 Download
Bus Engine Bay Fire Suppression Equipment provided by Brisbane City Council. This template is an example of suppressions systems and functions.
Document 11 Download
Training Needs Analysis Spreadsheet designed by the Bus Industry Confederation in consultation with bus and coach industry representatives when developing an industry advisory on fire mitigation in 2014.
Document 12 Download
Verbal Assessment Operator Refresher General Evacuation provided by Brisbane City Council.
Document 13 Download
Sample Section from Driver Bus Familiarisation for a Specific Bus Type provided by State Transit Authority NSW. A template that shows an example of driver training/information on the features and operation of a type of bus, highlights emergency systems and bus security.

Fire Evacuation Videos

Video 1 Bus Evacuation Video provided by State Transit Authority NSW. A 12 minute video on bus evacuation for incidents from breakdown, accident, passenger medical incident, passenger threat, or fire emergency, Four evacuation scenarios are covered In this video:
  • Scenario 1: Engine oil pressure failure on single lane non-emergency evacuation and passenger changeover, passengers unloaded onto curb.
  • Scenario 2: Engine stall in centre lane of multilane road, passengers can stay on the bus and processes to unload on to curb or another bus.
  • Scenario 3: Tunnel electrical fire in the A/C inside the bus, full emergency shutdown and evacuation.
  • Scenario 4: Engine fire on harbour bridge, emergency evacuation, dealing with traffic and fire.
Video 2 Use of Portable Fire Extinguisher provided by State Transit Authority NSW. A 5 minute video on the use of the on-bus mobile fire extinguisher showing:
  • examples of what may cause a fire
  • description of the portable fire extinguisher
  • when you could use the extinguisher to fight a fire
  • how to fight a fire.
Note: This video contemplates opening the rear engine door to fight a fire, the other option is to not open the rear engine door and instead aim the extinguisher from under the bus and into the engine bay.
Video 3 Engine Bay Fire Suppression System and Alarm provided by State Transit Authority NSW. A 3 minute video that explains how the State Transit fire protection systems operate: explains safe shutdown and bus security what to do following the fire system’s deployment.
Video 4 Emergency Bus Evacuation Demonstration provided by Brisbane City Council. A 4 minute video to train passengers on how to evacuate the bus if the driver is incapacitated showing:
  • explains use of door emergency exits
  • explains use of window emergency and if required roof hatch exits.
This video would also be useful to train drivers on the use of emergency exits and passenger evacuation.
Video 5

School Bus Evacuation US Version. A 12 minutes US video but deals with different bus types and also deals with various scenarios following the same process provided in the recommended Evacuation Protocol for School Bus in Section 3 of the Advisory.
Video 6

A 3 minute video on evacuating a special needs school bus and follows the same processes listed in Special Needs School Bus Evacuation protocol.