Stored gas inflators for door airbags are integrated into one airbag module. Door airbags are near the latch end of the door, above the armrest.
Rescuers must realize that rear seats as well as rear doors can have airbags, each with its own stored gas inflator.
Note that the possibility of a crash-damaged vehicle having undeployed knee bags also means that pressurized stored gas inflators can be in the vicinity of where you do your dash-jacking or dash-rolling evolutions
With the instrument panel trim removed, the 4,000-psi stored gas inflator is visible. This is important to know when doing dash-jacking or dash-rolling tasks.
Stored gas inflators for seat airbags will be along the outboard edge of the upright portion of the airbag-equipped seat, connected directly to the seat airbag itself. Note: inflator is visible at top of airbag in the cut-away view of a Chevrolet VOLT driver’s seat.
This large stored gas inflator exploded violently during a vehicle fire in McKinney, TX. It was the inflator for the passenger front airbag of a Dodge Neon. The two pieces this author is holding were found 120 feet away from the burning vehicle.
A new trend for roof airbag design is shown on this 2011 Chevrolet VOLT vehicle. When the roof pillar is stripped, no stored gas inflator is visible. It is concealed internally inside the roof airbag itself.
The airbag material has been cut open on this Chevrolet VOLT roof airbag to show that the stored gas inflator vents its pressurized gas inside the roof airbag as it deploys.
Rescuers must look beyond just the inside of roof pillars when conducting any rescue work that will involve a roof pillar or roof rail. The stored gas inflator on this Jeep Patriot is mounted horizontally to the roof rail above the B-pillar.
The most common location for a roof airbag stored gas inflator is along the inside of the rearmost roof pillars. Tubing may or may not be present. It is possible to unplug the inflator manually from its electrical system if deemed necessary
Subject: Airbag Stored Gas Inflator Update
Topic: Stored Gas Inflators: Locations & Challenges
Objective: Understand late-model vehicle use of stored gas inflators for airbag systems and the challenges presented by these inflators
Task:The rescue team shall be able to scan the interior of a crash-damaged vehicle to determine the presence of airbag systems and take action to identify the exact location of all stored gas inflators within the late-model vehicle
As the various types of occupant airbag systems continue to grow, rescue personnel are challenged by the need to determine where the airbags are in a crash-damaged vehicle. Along with efforts to initially determine the existence of airbags, especially the non-deployed ones, comes the challenge of locating the individual stored gas inflators that support most of these airbag systems. Any task involving roof, side, or now even dash and instrument-panel evolutions must consider these inflators.
This University of Extrication column visually explains some potentially unexpected locations for the inflators and the challenges that may be present because of them.
TASK: The rescue team shall be able to scan the interior of a crash-damaged vehicle to determine the presence of airbag systems and take action to identify the exact location of all stored gas inflators within the late-model vehicle