Force Science News’ latest email blast links us to a UK study at scienceandjusticejournal.com: The ignitability of petrol vapours and potential for vapour phase explosion by use of TASER® law enforcement electronic control device. As we’re too cheap to purchase the study, and most of our readers possess a modicum common sense, I’ll give you Force Science’s best excerpt and put the abstract after the jump. “When the CEW discharged, the room was instantly engulfed in flames. In less than 1.5 seconds, heat at the officer’s head and hand level reached nearly 800 degrees Fahrenheit. ‘The police mannequin showed severe [burns] to about 20% total body surface area,’ the researchers report. (The dummy’s Kevlar vest tended to protect the chest area.) For the suspect mannequin, there was ‘almost 100%’ total body surface burned–‘very probably fatal for a person if accompanied by inhalation injury.'” So now you know . . .
An experimental study was made of the potential of the TASER-X26™ law enforcement electronic control device to ignite petrol vapours if used by an officer to incapacitate a person soaked in petrol, or within a flammable atmosphere containing petrol vapour. Bench scale tests have shown that a wooden mannequin with pig skin covering the chest was a suitable representation of a human target. Full scale tests using the mannequin have shown that the arc from a TASER-X26™ is capable of igniting petrol/air vapours on a petrol-soaked person. Further tests in a 1/5 scale and a full scale compartment have shown that if a TASER is used within a compartment, a petrol vapour explosion (deflagration) may be achieved. It is evident from this research that if used in a flammable vapour rich environment, the device could prove fatal not only to the target but the TASER® operator as well.