1. #1
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    Default Talking about Airbag Containment Devices again

    Just a friendly reminder about airbag containment devices. Received this question from an officer who was planning on buying some for his department. "We are a combination dept. in southwestern lower Michigan. My Department is looking into purchasing an air bag cover, but we have some questions concerning the real world use of them. I would appreciate any input.

    Here's my reply;

    Regarding airbag containment devices, take my advice and forget it! You're wasting Dept time and money.

    Time and time again, I receive stories, get images sent to me, and have even personally witnessed tests where these devices fail. The problem is, in the U.S., our steering wheels are designed to deform as an injury reducing action.

    Well, when the airbag containment device depends on this ring to remain intact and rigid, failure of the steering wheel means failure to contain the airbag.

    I claim that your crews are actually more at risk with the device in place because of the false sense of security the device presents to rescuers.

    In addition, they are not guaranteed. They are not UL listed. They are not approved by any auto manufacturer. In fact, NHTSA and the automakers specifically advise NOT to place anything within the airbag's inflation zone. So, when something goes wrong and the bag deploys, and the contanment device fails, it's your unapproved device that actually wacked the patient who is now suing you, not the airbag itself. You introduced equipment into the inflation zone against the advise and recommendation of the automakers and now I believe your dept has taken on additional liability.

    Besides, they only cover the driver's bag. Some cars today have 12 airbags. It's not unusual to arrive at a crashed car with 4 bags per vehicle due to the side-imapct systems being installed.

    Forget it. Forget it. Spend your money on a cordless recip saw, some struts, or something the crew can actually use.

    Shutdown power -

    Identify airbags: deployed and loaded -

    Remain clear of the airbag inflation zones -

    Get 'er done!

    Ron Moore,
    University of Extrication
    Firehouse Magazine
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    www.universityofextrication.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Talking about Airbag Containment Devices again

    Originally posted by rmoore

    In addition, they are not guaranteed. They are not UL listed. They are not approved by any auto manufacturer. In fact, NHTSA and the automakers specifically advise NOT to place anything within the airbag's inflation zone. So, when something goes wrong and the bag deploys, and the contanment device fails, it's your unapproved device that actually wacked the patient who is now suing you, not the airbag itself. You introduced equipment into the inflation zone against the advise and recommendation of the automakers and now I believe your dept has taken on additional liability.
    Here Here Ron!

    I get this question just about every time I teach the aire bag class at our fire academy and give them the same answer. However there are people out there who will go ahead and buy them just so they have "the latest equipment" on their truck.

    I hope that enough people who respect your opinion will see this and heed the message.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
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    Default

    Hey Ron, I still have both pieces of the Buick LaSaber steering wheel in my garage, even though I had to walk 30 feet to pick up the one 1/2 after the air bag restraint demo. How many times do we have to say "NO". Better yet, why do state certified courses have pictures of these things included in the program? This topic has come up twice in the last 2 weekends in classrooms that I was sitting in. Gotta make you wonder who is putting together these programs.

    Zmag

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    Default Ditto...

    What is hard to understand about "NO"? NO airbag restraint devices that is.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

  5. #5
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    I never really understood why people would buy these things........

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    And I really don't understand why I am looking at pictures of them in use in a state certified extrication class.

  7. #7
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    Neither do I.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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  8. #8
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    I continue to advocate the use of these devices.

    I maintain that until someone can come up with an independant, unbiased study into these devices, why would a reputable company such as Holmatro risk a lawsuit by manufacturing them?

    Having said that, I am intrigued by Ron's comments on the deformation of your steering wheels. We don't seem to have those problems- maybe thats part of the problem you guys face...
    Luke

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    state certified courses
    must be nice to have those.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  10. #10
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    Hail to the voice from down under! YOU'RE WRONG! Now that I've got your attention,dig this.In the land of OZ,where government interference is the exception rather than the rule,youse guys still got the nice relatively firm steering wheels.Here in the US of A, where the government thinks it has to have it's nose in EVERYBODYS business we have nice cushy soft steering wheels.And real dinky ones too.As the Holmatro device depends on the ridgity of the wheel for it's support,I'm thinking that even you can begin to see the error of your,Er their,ways.But I'm gonna forgive ya this time,'cause I know you haven't made it across the pond.Seriously, I regard the device as more of a hazard than a help in our application.And about those shirts you were going to filch for me;the boat sink at the dock or sumthin? Hehe T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 08-04-2004 at 11:52 PM.

  11. #11
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    Ah Grandmaster, you've reacted without properly reading my post, again....

    I wrote-
    I am intrigued by Ron's comments on the deformation of your steering wheels. We don't seem to have those problems- maybe thats part of the problem you guys face...
    What you posted in your reply is exactly what I'm saying- we don't have the wheels with as much flexibility, maybe thats why we're not seeing the issues you see.
    Luke

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    Wink Misread,MOI? I think not!

    Oh dear boy but I DID read the post;"I continue to advocate the use of these devices",I just figured YOU needed a PROPER explanation.And about my shirts? Boat sink at the dock or mail no longer leaves OZ? How's life with three? Or you got something else to tell me?Last time I checked,you were trading in the pop up for a real house,Snicker,T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 08-05-2004 at 07:59 AM.

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