1. #1
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly

    Default The SRS Distance Rule

    Just for the sake of discussion, what are your feelings on the distance rules that one must maintain when working around SRS (air bag) equipped vehicles?
    I have heard a few different combinations. Personally, I like the 5-10-20 inch since it is easier for me to remember the numbers double as the bag gets bigger. I have also seen 6-12-18 used where you start at 6 inches and add 6 as you go. And I have seen some other combinations like 5-10-18....

    I am just curious about how we came to have different opinions on distance. Along with the 5-10-20, I also stress that these are LEAST safe distances and encourage folks to be as far away as possible from the device.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Northwest Ohio


    IIRC....... I think the deployment distances are actually 5, 10, and 18, but like you said, 5-10-20 is just easier. Plus it gives a little extra room there. I'm guessing the 6-12-18 was the same reasoning......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas

    Default Clearing up the Inflation Zone Guideline

    The University of Extrication created our first airbag inflation zone guideline. It was early 1998 and at that time, all airbags available in passenger vehicles in the US would inflate to three distinct depths. The driver frontal airbag was single-stage, single-threshold and inflated toward the driver seat position a distance of 18 inches at full inflation.

    The passenger frontal airbag, also a single-stage bag, had an inflation depth of 18 inches. This was true for big cars, little cars, and everything in between.

    In 1998, we saw the first side-impact airbags. They were the HPS system still used in certain locations on BMW vehicles. That 'sausage' airbag is the one that deploys down from the roof on an angle. The 'tube' of the airbag is 38 inches long and inflates to 5 inches in diameter. That's where the 5 came from.

    Thus, back in 1998 and for many years, the 10" - 18" - 5" guideline was valid. This guideline must now be modified to reflect our newest supplemental restraint systems.

    Mr. Ron Shaw, a retired Lt. from Plymouth Mass and the owner of www.extrication.com website was the first to change the original dimensions of the guideline to what they are today. Realizing that even numbers are easier to remember, he began promoting 10-20-5. Since airbags have changed slightly from the past, the recommended training guideline is now 10" - 20" - 5"; 10 inches for the driver frontal airbag, 20 inches for the passenger frontal bag, and 5 inches of thickness for side impact airbags.

    As this guideline is presented to rescuers, there is something important to remember about the number 5. The 5 inches refers to the thickness of the side impact airbags. Why I mention this is because a roof-mounted side impact airbag on a vehicle with third-row seating such as a Ford Expedition stretch version for example, is 9 feet long. 5 is thickness only, not length. Assure a roof-mounted airbag will blanket the window areas.

    Now beginning with the KIA Sportage back in 1995 and continuing through 2009 model year vehicles, we have the added challenge of knee airbags. The number 5 in our 10-20-5 guideline is still applicable. Most knee bags only come out from the instrument panel a few inches; no more than 5 inches. The only exception to date is the Audi passenger frontal knee bag. it actually fills the floorboard area when it deploys.

    The University of Extrication is currently researching the new seat-mounted pelvic airbag, the carpet bag, plus the new rear window bag, the pedestrian bags, and the rear seat frontal airbags. Research will tell if we'll have to modify our 10-20-5 guideline. It's too early to tell just yet. Stay by for more and in the meantime...stay clear!
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Try this fun way to remember airbag deployment...

    "Nickle - Dime - Quarter" Unless you're using Peso.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Bridgton,Me USA


    Oh great! The return of the carpetbaggers.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Distance To the station?
    By Firered99stang in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-06-2008, 05:45 AM
  2. What is the proper distance
    By WaterbryVTfire in forum Fire Investigation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-29-2007, 06:55 PM
  3. Degrees at a Distance Program
    By E14medic in forum Career Advancement
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-18-2007, 01:08 PM
  4. Fire degrees by distance.
    By OSUfirepro in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-16-2003, 10:15 AM
  5. Distance LEarning
    By jonesy0924 in forum Emergency Services Training
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-07-2003, 09:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register