The CEO of the Takata Corp. of Japan testified before a U.S. Congressional enquiry about approximately 12 million American automobiles with defective airbags featuring inflators that can explode, shooting out metal and plastic pieces. Five people have died, with multiple injuries reported worldwide because of exploding Takata airbags. This raises concerns for firefighters and first responders who arrive at a car crash and find that airbags haven’t deployed. If people are trapped inside, it makes sense to cover the airbag and protect victims and rescuers from injury.
Holmatro Inc., Glen Burnie, Md., specializes in tools for rescuers, including items to lift, wedge, cut or provide air pressure to extract victims from crashed vehicles. The company introduced Secunet III, an airbag protection cover that fits over the steering wheel and can withstand the explosive force of a deploying or faulty airbag. The Secunet III is made of woven aramid fiber, and one size fits the steering wheels of cars, buses, vans and trucks. The first responder fits the flexible cover over the steering wheel, tightens an attached strap, and stops fallout from an airbag explosion, as well as gas leaks from the steering column. With no time, and 100 priorities, the first responder can eliminate one potential threat rapidly—and move on to the next.