Skip to main content

Avalanche Safety Devices and Systems

14 Oct 2006

Avalanche - Lawine Bild 017

Considering the ongoing development of avalanche safety devices in recent years the above commissions of ICAR–IKAR-CISA update their statement of 1999 concerning these devices and systems by highlighting the following points:

  1. Most people trigger their own avalanche and this can result in death.

    • The best way not to be caught is to not trigger an avalanche.

    • If caught, preventing burial is the best way to stay alive.

  2. The best way to avoid avalanche accidents is prevention, including information (avalanche bulletins), knowledge, experience, awareness, and caution.


  3. If caught, some safety systems/devices may increase one’s chances of survival. Survival depends upon quick rescue. The efficiency of the transceiver in combination with probe and shovel, and of airbag systems has been proven. At this time support for other systems is based upon personal opinion and case reports.

    • However, no device or system guarantees against either injuries to or death of avalanche victims.
  1. All rescue systems require training and practice.

  2. For organized rescue early notification is essential, e.g., by mobile phone, satelitephone, or radio — wherever possible.

  3. To be equipped with a transceiver or at least a transponder, e.g. the Recco system,renders organized rescue more efficient.