The Sevierville Police Department (SPD) is urging parents and pet owners to be cognizant of the potential danger of leaving their children or pets in vehicles during warm weather.
Just a few minutes inside a car during the summer can become deadly. When the outside air temperature is just 85 degrees, vehicle interior temperatures can reach over 100 degrees in only ten minutes or less.
In Tennessee, it is legal to break a window if you see a child or pet in distress inside a locked vehicle. You must call 911 to inform authorities about the incident. Steps must be taken to ensure the car is locked, that the child or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed and notifying law enforcement.
In the United States, serious injuries and deaths to children and pets are reported every summer. Children should NEVER be left alone in an unattended vehicle for any length of time. KidsandCars.org notes that on average, 37 children die annually from heat-related injuries while trapped inside a vehicle. For additional information visit www.kidsandcars.org.