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Auto Know: 10 things not to leave in a hot, parked car

Children, pets on the list of major no-nos to leave unattended

Published July 20, 2012
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Ten things you shouldn’t leave locked inside a hot, parked car.

1. Children

Besides the obvious danger of overheating and death, small children have been injured or killed after becoming trapped in power windows, or putting an idling vehicle into gear. Idling vehicles have been stolen with kids inside.

2. Pets

See above. Leaving the window open a crack doesn’t help much. Expect a broken window, public outrage and police waiting when you return. Unattended pets have been stolen and resold or a ransom demanded.

Smackdown: Is it ever OK to leave your pet in the car?

3. Groceries

Frozen food, fresh meat, fruit and veggies, may require a cooler to get home safe, unwilted, and not become a bacteria breeding ground (i.e. raw meats).

4. Takeout food

Cooked food is no longer safe to eat after two hours at room temperature. In a hot car, dispose of leftovers immediately to avoid possible illness and foul odours.

5. Takeout drinks

Both hot and cold beverages containing milk, including coffee, can quickly become rancid in summer heat. Drink it or dump it.

6. Medication

Extreme temperatures can adversely affect drug potency. Certain medicines make users more susceptible to overheating.

7. Memory devices

CDs, DVDs, memory chips, tapes and vinyl records, can all be destroyed by heat.

8. Money

The Bank of Canada reports 40 cases involving 197 of the new polymer $50 and $100 bills being damaged by extreme heat.

9. Electronic devices

Cellphones, laptops, GPS and I-gadgets are apt to be stolen if left in vehicles. They can also be damaged by extreme heat.

10. Gasoline/flammable liquids

Use only approved jerry cans for gasoline, as other containers may burst. Close lids tightly and transport outside of vehicle cabin, if possible (e.g. trunk, pickup bed). Vapours may cause dizziness or unconsciousness. Stop immediately if you suspect a leak.

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