Monday July 4, 2011



On The Road

Four-door Furnaces BCAA rescues 300 kids and pets from inside cars each year

Released by BCAA


n unfortunate incident over the Canada Day long weekend in which a six-month old puppy died after being left alone in a hot vehicle in Burnaby serves as an example of how quickly temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous—and sometimes fatal—levels.

What parents and pet owners may not know, and what the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) would like everyone to know, is that it only takes minutes for your car to become a four-door furnace and a safety risk to vulnerable passengers such as children and pets.

"Cars sitting in the hot summer sun act like magnifying glasses, creating intense interior heat," says Ken Cousin, BCAA's Associate Vice President, Road Assist. "Interior temperatures can climb to over 60 degrees Celsius in just 10 to 20 minutes, despite windows or sunroofs being left slightly open or parking the car in the shade."

According to the Vehicle Cabin Temperatures Survey conducted by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland in Australia, temperatures inside a car can increase by 50 percent within five minutes and 80 percent within 15 minutes. The Canada Safety Council also reports high temperatures in a confined space of a car can cause a child or pet to go into shock quickly, and circulation to vital organs can fail.

Each year, BCAA Road Assist rescues close to 300 children and pets from locked cars.

Many of the 'accidental lock-in' calls attended by BCAA technicians occur while children playing with keys lock themselves inside the vehicle, or when drivers and their passengers become distracted while getting in and out of their vehicle. Car doors can close unexpectedly, locking young children or a pet in the car along with the car keys. BCAA receives about 100,000 requests from Members each year to retrieve keys from inside locked cars.

To avoid any chance of a child or family pet being harmed by the heat of a car this summer, BCAA encourages parents, caregivers and pet owners to play it safe and take the following precautions:

Develop a routine so you're always aware that your child or pet is with you

Facts about heat stress from enclosed cars:

About BCAA
BCAA strives to deliver an amazing experience to its 792,000 members, providing peace-of-mind and meeting their automotive, road travel and insurance needs. BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C., with $400 million in gross annual sales and a Member in one-in-four B.C. households. In addition to receiving award winning roadside assistance and insurance services, Members can also take advantage of CAA dollar rewards, insurance discounts and the Member exclusive Show Your Card & Save program. To learn more about BCAA's benefits, services and advocacy, visit


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