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Cutting out deployed airbags

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  • Cutting out deployed airbags

    Has anyone come across an incident where the deployed airbags have ignited from the heat of the propellent ?

    Does your department have an SOP calling for the removal of a deployed airbag ?

    Thanks for your help.
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

  • #2
    I have never heard of this (SRS bags catcing fire) but hey you never know. Personally my vote from my experience and exopoure is NOT TO CUT THEM away.Quite awhile ago I was chatting with Len Watson of England and he advised against cutting away the bag, as you MAYBE exposing yourself and your consumers to who knows what, plus with todays multi-stage bags I would again steer clear of this. This is only my humble opion and I am more than willing to be corrected here. However I do hope who ever posts on this either as I have done state there position as opinion or fact and if fact back it up with referenced sources.

    [ 08-06-2001: Message edited by: Carl Avery ]
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
    Carl D. Avery


    • #3
      I read of one accident where the passenger-airbag caught fire after the accident. Go to CARS-Forum and watch out for topic 57 by ZMag (who is also writing in this forum?). I also heard of the possibility that cabels and other parts of the dashboard could melt away when they get in contact with the hot gas-generator, for example after a very bad crash where there is also heavy damage at the dashboard-area.

      Cutting away airbags is, as far as I'm informed, possible. Push the airbag away or back in it's case. When this is not possible and the airbag hinders your rescue actions cut it away. I don't think that there is a big problem with dual-action-airbags. Today this type is only used in both frontal airbags and I think cutting away the frontal bags is never necessary.
      Jorg Heck
      Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria


      • #4
        I would have to agree with you Carl, DO NOT CUT THE BAG. I have read several papers on multi stage air bags and found out that how they are set up is up to the manufacturer of the vehicle in relation to time and quantity of inflation. In a nut shell, a airbag can deploy, only setting off the first stage leaving the second stage ready to fire. I train my guys to view deployed bags as if they were ready to fire.


        • #5
          Thank you all for your imput.
          BE SAFE
          Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate


          • #6
            A Posting From Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

            I had the opportunity to conduct a field experiment with frontal airbags on a 1995 Ford Taurus.

            I 'hot-wired' the driver's bag, deployed it, then immediately cut away the cloth bag. Using an infared heat detector unit, I measured the temperature on the surface of the actual airbag inflator module.

            The driver's airbag module heated to approximately 550 degrees F due to the chemical reaction of the sodium azide.

            The larger inflator module for the passenger frontal airbag heated to over 888 degrees F. After 10 minutes, the module was still in excess of 500 degrees F.

            Although there have been over 15 million documented airbag deployments in vehicle crashes in the US, there are only a handfull of cases reported where there was an open flame of any sort.

            it is a source of heat and it will scorch and melt plastic, airbag cloth, insulation, wiring and the like.

            Next time your patient tells you that while they were inside their car, they thought they smelled something burning, you'll be able to give them the rundown.

            Ron Moore,
            Fire Training Manager
            Plano (TX) Fire Rescue
            <[email protected]>
            Ron Moore, Forum Moderator


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