1. #1
    Member

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    Jan 2002
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    58

    Default cutting an air bag wire?

    I was teaching a class the other day and was going over air bag safety. You know, remove the interior trim panels to expose pre-tensioners and post mounted side impact air bags, anyways this member asked why we couldn't cut the wires running to the air bag inflator module itself to prevent accidental deployment.

    Now, after following proper electrical shutdown procedures and waiting the appropriate capacitor draindown time for the particular vehicle that you are working on, you can cut through the wires if needed in order to remove a post or such.

    Now here is my question; If you have a driver sitting in the driver seat and the captinain makes the call that the roof needs to be removed to extricate the patient, you will remove the trim from all posts that are going to be cut. Now when you remove the trim and see a post mounted air bag on a post that will NOT be removed, can you individually cut the wires that go into the inflator module to render the module "safe"? Kind of like removing the fuse from the bomb?

    I am wondering if any departments do this and why? Is it worth the time and effort? Obviously you will have a harder time cutting a wire on a front passenger air bag as opposed to a side impact air bag. How ever it seems easier to stay out of the danger area on a frontal bag as opposed to a side impact air bag.


    Shane

  2. #2
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    dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Default

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, did I say NEVER cut an air bag wire regardless of electrical status.

    I've been teaching an air bag class that I wrote for GM since 1991 and we have never, did I say it again, told any student to cut any wires.

    If you have to, do a trench cut on the roof and get the patient out that way. Then you are assured that you don't have to worry about setting off any bags in the process.
    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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    nmfire's Avatar
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    If your airbags happen to use ground switching to fire them, you will be in for a big surprise when you cut the wire and it touches metal. Unless you designed the electrical system on the given car, don't touch it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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