Testing the inside of a car. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC
A firefighter tests the temperature of the asphalt outside. Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC
NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) -
Northport Fire Rescue demonstrated Thursday how quickly it can heat up inside vehicles this time of year and offered advice to help residents keep themselves, children and pets safe.
Firefighters used a thermal imaging gun to show it doesn't take very long for a person or pet inside a hot car to become overheated.
For example, at 3 p.m. Thursday it was around 90 degrees during the time of the demonstrations. Within 20 minutes, the temperature in one of the station vehicles rose to 115 degrees inside.
"The brain starts dying within four to six minutes without oxygen and you're going to go unconscious if you sit in here long...especially a child," Fire Chief Bart Marshall said.
Battalion Chief Jason Norris said his crews have not responded to any recent instances of someone being left in a hot car.
First responders encourage residents to call 9-1-1 immediately if they see a pet or a child in an unattended vehicle.
Norris explained what they'd do if they found someone in that situation.
"Once the body reaches 104 degrees you can be looking at heat stroke. Once the body's core temperature on the inside is 107 degrees Farenheit it can be lethal. Once we're able to get somebody out of the situation we could cool them off as quickly as possible whether that meant ice, cool water, fluids, etc.," Norris said.
Norris also suggested ways to ensure you don't you leave a pet or child in your car.
- Leave something like your wallet or purse in the back seat so you have a reason to check the back seat when you reach your destination.
- Keep your vehicle locked when it's unattended so no one can get inside and become trapped.
- Finally, if your child is in daycare, ask them to always call you or someone else if your child has an unscheduled absence.