A posting by Forum Moderator Ron Moore

Lt. Mike Reed of the Ocoee (FL) FD asked if it is still safe to cut A, B & C post in vehicles that have the air bags in the
roof? Specifically, he and firefighters in his station are seeking advice on where the A, B & C post can be safely cut to minimize a possible air bag activation.

At the present time, '98, '99 and 2000-model year vehicles with roof-mounted airbag systems include Volvo, BMW and Mercedes.

Cuts in the roof pillars could be safely made on these vehicles in the following locations without interference with the airbag systems or seatbelt pretensioners;

A-pillar: lowest 6 inches, closest to the dashboard

B-pillar: highest point, within one inch of the roofline OR make a upside down pie cut into the roofrail, point of the pie cut facing upward

C-Pillar & D-pillar: horizontal cut parallel to rear deck, at lowest point of pillar, within one inch of deck

Other safety advice;
1) There is no 100% sure-fire answer because crash damage may move something into an unexpected position or location

2) Just like the saying "Try before you pry", I believe we must add a new procedural recommendation for roof removal. Officers, tell your crews to peel or "strip away" interior trim on all pillars before cutting. Get an eyeball on what's mounted to the pillar.

Adopt a new rescue saying, "Peel before you cut".