TOPEKA (KSNT) – Each year hundreds of animals and dozens of children die after being left in hot cars. It’s something that can easily be prevented from both parents and bystanders.
Law enforcement says if you see a child or pet in a hot car, “Absolutely break that window,” says Mission Township Firefighter, Patrick Stueve.
Which is exactly what one woman did after she spotted an infant in a car at a Kansas shopping center last week.
It took minutes to finally get the window to break, even though she was using a metal tire iron. The problem wasn’t what she was using, rather where she was hitting.
“When they hit it in the center, it didn’t want to break,” says Silver Lake Fire District Assistant Chief, Stephen Peak.
That’s because the center of a window is the strongest part of the glass.
“To get it to break the quickest and easiest way, is to put the tool right in the bottom corner of the window and it’ll break within one or two strikes of the window,” says Peak.
Tire irons, and really anything metal, can break the window if hit in the corner.
“You can also take the radio antenna off your car. The part that has the ball at the end of it, and spring that radio antenna back and have that ball spring right into the corner of the window and you can use that to get in,” says Peak.
Another item many stores now sell is an ’emergency hammer’. It works in one hit, because of it has a sharp point on the end.
Many times breaking the window is your only option, because finding the car owner may take too long.
The temperature inside your car is often much hotter than the temperature outside.
“It ranges anywhere from 125 to 145 degrees inside this vehicle,” says Stueve.
“If they’re [child] in there for more than an hour, they’re going to be in a lot of serious trouble,” says Peak.
But he admits that often it can only take minutes for a child to be in danger.