98 Escort - air bag warning light

Yesterday I had the alternator replaced in my 2.0L 1998 Escort (129,000km). It runs fine, but today, about 15km into driving downtown in mostly stop and go traffic, the air bag warning light came on and
stayed on until I stopped after about 3km. According to the owner's manual a chime is supposed to sound along with the light but I never heard anything. After about 10 minutes stopped, I started it up again and the warning light stayed on just a little bit longer than it usually does and stayed off for the rest of the day's driving.
Is this something to be concerned about? If it's just a question of the air bags not working, I can live with that (we never have kids in the car) but might it be a symptom of some other electrical fault?
Bill in Vancouver
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It is probably not related to the work on the alternator.
Are you sure you can live without the airbags? In a crash it might make the difference between life and death. Besides, air bags are not in cars to protect kids (they explode with so much force that kids (and you) should be back as far as possible from the air bags. Air bags have been know to kill little people (I mean people who are not physically big, like some elderly people and kids).
I would definitely wear my seltbelts if I were you (I would make this recommendation whether or not you the airbags are working) and get it checked out if the light comes on again.
Jeff
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Something could have happened when the alternator was replace e.g. a plug knocked loose. It is possible that the voltage could be going too high and causing a fault. I have seen intermittent overvoltage cause faults with ABS, don't know if it will also cause faults with airbag circuits. Is is also quite possible that the airbag fault has nothing to do with the new alternator.
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