ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the temperature climbs, so too does the risk of hot car deaths -- and it's perfectly legal to bust through a window help someone in a desperate situation.
While most people, hopefully, would break through a window at a moment's notice, there are certain criteria to follow to be protected from the law.
According to a 2016 Florida law, someone who enters a car, including by force, can be immune from penalty for saving a person. The law applies to rescuing an animal as well.
If someone sees a person or animal in need, the law dictates they need to consider the following:
- Can the person or animal exit themselves? If not, continue reading.
- Do you have a reasonable belief the person or animal is suffering? If yes, keep going.
- Call 911 before entering the car. Done? Break the window.
- But use no more force than necessary.
- Stay with the person or animal in a safe spot near the car until first responders arrive.
There have been seven pediatric hot car deaths in 2019, according to a researcher at NoHeatStroke.org. From 1998-2018, Florida ranks No. 2 with the most hot-car deaths.
A baby died outside a Florida daycare Wednesday after she was left in a van for hours.
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