Are fire trucks red in colour?
If anyone is asked to imagine or draw a fire truck, it would always be red. But, there are exceptions in the U.S and various other western nations where you would see yellow, white and even pink coloured fire trucks. Yet, there is no doubt that the default colour of fire trucks is red.
The science of colour
A study was done on whether red or blue emergency light vehicles are easier to see on the road. The survey results were really shocking as it said that red-coloured vehicles are easy to see during the day and very difficult to see at night. The study noted that lime or bright yellow colour could be apt for fire trucks as their visibility is excellent in both day and night. (See How to put out someone on fire?)
Why are fire trucks red?
There are numerous reasons why the fire trucks are red, but unfortunately, the real reason is still a mystery as people do not know the exact reason behind it. Yet, there are numerous logics that people affirm.
The first reason is that when the fire trucks were introduced, only unpaid volunteers were appointed to run them as they did not have much money. Thus, as there was a shortage of funds, they chose to paint the trucks red as that was the cheapest colour paint.
The next theory that is given is opposite to the above. As per various people, there was fierce competition amongst the volunteer brigades of a nearby town. At that time, red paint was the most expensive; therefore, volunteers chose to paint the trucks red to stand out from others. (See What Is the Color of Fire?)
The next theory from the early 1900s is that the fire trucks were painted red to stand out from other vehicles. In fact, at that time, Ford just made his vehicles black in colour so that the fire trucks would become clearly visible amidst the other vehicles.
A funny answer that Siri gives about this
‘Because they have eight wheels and four people on them, and four-plus eight is 12, and there are 12 inches in afoot, and one foot is a ruler, and Queen Elizabeth was a ruler, and Queen Elizabeth was also a ship, and the ship sailed the seas, and in the seas are fish, and fish have fins, and the Finns fought the Russians, and the Russians are red, and fire trucks are always ‘Russian’ around.’