1. #1
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question airbag deactivation systems

    On the subject of airbags: why can't we in the fire/rescue services get a dialogue going with the auto manufacturers and develop a universal system to deactivate the airbags that do not deploy after a collision. It could be keyed system with multiple locations for insertion, for example one inside the car, a couple outside of the car. I think this would make vehicle extrication a lot safer. Any opinions?

    ------------------
    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

  2. #2
    Hammerhead338
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    It makes to much sense and it would be to easy for us. You are right about it being safer for us and the people in the car, I just dont see the car maker's getting together and coming up with something like what you are talking about.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Joe
    Local 3905

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    What I'm thinking about is a device similar to the passenger air bag deactivation switch like the one I have in my F-150. One turn of a key to turn off the system to prevent accidental deployment after a crash. Maybe NHTSA can come up with a standard.

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    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited January 21, 2000).]

  4. #4
    rmoore
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Lt. Gonzo and Joe:

    You're both forgetting something. Even with the pickup truck's passenger cutoff switch in the OFF position or even with some new fangled KILL switch activated like you proposed, a "loaded" airbag is still vulnerable to deployment. There is nothing that anyone can do to make airbags completely safe. That's why the Morton plant in Utah has disappeared into a smoking hole twice while they were manufacturing airbag modules.

    Consider;

    new 2000 model airbag systems with TWO inflators in the same bag - same bag could deploy twice

    just in 1999 model year alone, almost 2 million vehicles were recalled for airbag problems where the bags deployed from static electricity, moisture got onto the circuit board, shock sensitive sudden jolt onto the control module set the bags off, etc, etc.

    Kill swithes are not the answer although it may seem as such. We need the Vehicle Safety Data Sheet system that I proposed in the July Firehouse University of Extrication article.

    We need information on bag and airbag system locations on the crashed vehicle and then we must train on what an airbag "inflation" zone is.

    Just like at hazmat incidents, you, your partner, your patient and your equipment stay outside of the airbag inflation zone, the Hot Zone, power shut off or not!


  5. #5
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Ron...Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I guess I am guilty of the dreaded "tunnel vision" syndrome again. I agree that the auto makers should provide vehicle safety data sheets to emergency response personnel, actually it should be mandatory!

    I enjoy your articles in the University of Extrication...keep them coming!

    ------------------
    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited January 22, 2000).]

  6. #6
    skip rupert61
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I like the vehicle safety data sheet idea and hope it comes in to being soon, but I also think we should take it a step further. We all know that the airbag locations are marked inside the car with hotstamps on the steering wheels, dash, trim work, seats, and even tags sewn into the seams of the seats. However, this hotstamps are difficult to see in the daytime let along at 0200. Here is my suggestion......why not have the hotstamps a contrasting color? Meaning, that if the plastic dash is black, why not have the letter gray? It would make it a whole bunch easier to see them at any time of the day. I've been kicking this around in my little world for a while now and thought I would throw it out to the masses to see what everyone else thinks. Any comments???

    Skip Rupert
    rsqzone@hotmail.com

  7. #7
    Todd Trimble
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Not a terrible idea, Skip. But I bet your average Cadillac/Lexus/etc owner would balk at having the "perfect" interior styling of their car broken up by highly visible airbag indicators. It's that "people don't want to be reminded of their mortality" thing. And when you get right down to it, the manufacturers are after the eye of the consumer, not emergency services.



    ------------------
    Todd Trimble
    Fairland Volunteer Fire Department



  8. #8
    resqb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Arrow

    I've been stopping by my local car dealers to get info on alot this stuff. Most vehicle (read not only car) sales people give you a strange look when you ask for info. Especially when you pull a 45000lb rescue/pumper into their lot.
    I also stop by www.extrication.com [plug for Ron] especially the forum and autoliv.com (links to everything car airbag related but it's a lot of info to dig thru).
    Just to make this post take a bad turn Freightliner just came out with a tractor with drivers side airbag. The local dealer had to call engineering to get info on the location of active parts of the system. When I recieve my copy I'll do my best to pass the information on.

  9. #9
    skip rupert61
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey resqb,
    Try talking to the service managers. I found
    that you will get a lot further there. Now
    understand that at times, they dont have the
    time but I have even made appointments and a
    few of the them walk me through the garage and the body shops talking all this good stuff. Salesman are just that, if they cant sell it, they dont want to waste their time.

    skip

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