1. #1
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    rmoore's Avatar
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    Default Will Cutting Cables Deploy Airbags?

    A large Texas city fire department officer asks;

    Hi Chief Moore,

    I have a brief question for you. Yesterday mooring my unit responded to pin-in collision involving a 1997 Volvo sedan.

    We currently carry the Holmatro rescue book in all BC cars as reference for air bag bleed down times. I was under the impression that there was a possibility that airbags can deploy as a result of cutting the battery cable (I know they can still be armed after the battery cable is cut). Is this in fact a possibility or myth?

    My Reply -
    Anything can happen but my best opinion is that properly cutting the battery cables will NOT deply a loaded airbag. Now, if you screw up and cut the Hot cable first and cause a big spark, send a surge through the electrical system, and otherwise create fireworks under the hood, well then you deserve to be surprised with an airbag deployment.

    Go for the negative first, double cut it, then go for the hot cable and double cut that. Then check to make sure that something electrical like the dome light is out, headlights/parking lights off, etc, and then believe you've done a good complete shut down.

    With the battery shut down, the capacitor will begin draining.

    Your crew always has to stay out of and have full respect for the inflation zone of a loaded airbag, 10-18-5"

    By the way, Volvo had three years of side impact seat-mounted airbags that were purely mechanical, including the year you worked on at your recent crash. They didn't work on electricity at all so the battery would not make a difference in them deploying accidentally at all.

    = = = = = =

    Any comments from our Readers to add to this????
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  2. #2
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    Default

    Ron:

    As you know I've been teaching a class on air bags since 1991. And in all that time I have not heard of anyone deploying the bags by cutting or disconnecting the cables properly.

    I still get a lot of questions during the classes about touching the cables to disable the entire electrical system and I tell them what you told me, No it won't.

    I make sure to tell the students to have respect for the systems and to keep an eye out at all times for any and all bags. And if they are not sure what they have to assume the worst and prepare properly.

    Thanks for all the updates on SIR.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  3. #3
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    Question Mechanical

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by rmoore


    By the way, Volvo had three years of side impact seat-mounted airbags that were purely mechanical, including the year you worked on at your recent crash. They didn't work on electricity at all so the battery would not make a difference in them deploying accidentally at all.

    = = = = = =
    The mechanical ones must have some type of counter weight or toggle type trigger? If so these types can probably be set of easily during extrication? Anymore info on these or precautions?

  4. #4
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    Hello!

    I have to links which (I hope) could answer your question:

    http://www.terc.org/volvoairbags.html
    http://www.firehouse.com/extrication...997/may97.html
    Jorg Heck
    Moditech Rescue Solutions B.V.
    http://www.moditech.com

  5. #5
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    Keep 5-10-20 Rule when entering the vehicle, 5 side impact / 10 wheel / 20 pass bags. For ref look over a manual called ( Manual For Emergency Rescue Services ). Just remember after market systems can have a back-up power supply that can back feed on you. Tracy Sims / Chief Engineer, Gravel Ridge Fire & Rescue

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