Heat inside your car spells danger!

We can’t say it often enough: never leave young children or pets in a vehicle parked in the sun because the consequences of intense heat inside the passenger compartment can be disastrous. Why? In such conditions, the body cannot dissipate the heat and its temperature can rise high enough to cause very significant health problems and even cardiac arrest.

You should also know that a child’s body temperature increases three to five times faster than an adult’s. If you think that a slightly open window will lower the passenger compartment temperature to an acceptable level, here are some reasons to convince you otherwise.

CAA-Quebec conducted an experiment to determine the temperature inside a passenger compartment during hot conditions. When the outside temperature was 22°C, the inside temperature reached 50°C at the central armrest between the two front seats. It’s easy to understand that the higher the outside temperature, the higher the interior temperature. For example, if the outdoor temperature rises to 40.5°C, the interior temperature reaches 100°C at the headrest level of the front seats. It is therefore a mistake to think that leaving windows slightly open would be enough to dissipate heat.

It’s also important to remember that the temperature increases very quickly inside a vehicle in direct sunlight, even if the outside temperature remains stable. If a small car whose air conditioner had been running just before stopping is exposed to sunlight at 35°C, the temperature in the passenger compartment will reach 50°C in 20 minutes and 65.5°C in 40 minutes. Another example: according to General Motors, the temperature inside a minivan increases to 46°C from 22°C in 30 minutes when the outdoor temperature is 24°C.

In conclusion, even if we all agree that no child or animal should ever be left unattended inside a vehicle, these examples should underscore the very real risks associated with this practice.

Carrying gas: be careful!

According to the Petroleum Products Trade Act, a petroleum product may only be transported in a container approved by the National Fire Protection Association, Underwriters Laboratories of Canada or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). So contrary to what many people think, a windshield washer fluid container may not be used to transport gasoline. Moreover, the attendant of a gas station may not fill an unauthorized container or allow you to do so.

When you fill your metal or plastic containers with gas in the back of a truck fitted with a bed liner or in a carpeted car trunk, you risk causing an explosion. Filling containers produces static electricity, which may not be dissipated due to the insulating properties of the liner or carpet. A single spark can ignite the mixture formed by the static electricity and gasoline vapors. To avoid static electricity, place your containers on the ground during filling.

Note as well that when driving through the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine, Ville-Marie and Viger tunnels in Montreal, or the Joseph-Samson tunnel in Quebec City and the access road to the Melocheville tunnel, the capacity of an approved container must not exceed 30 litres.

In addition, it is prohibited to transport hazardous materials in a road vehicle unless all the products or items are securely fastened or immobilized by devices of sufficient strength. These include blocking or reinforcement devices, dunnage materials or bags, struts, tie-down equipment or a combination of the above. In other words, propane tanks or approved containers of gasoline must be securely stored in the rear of the vehicle, for example in the trunk.

It is also worth remembering that it is forbidden to use gasoline as a solvent. No more cleaning brushes or concrete floors with gasoline. It is easy to understand why. In addition to the fumes it emits, gasoline is very explosive: 1 cup of gasoline, once vaporized and ignited, has the explosive power of five sticks of dynamite. You don’t want to take a risk with such a destructive power.

© June 2014. All rights reserved, CAA-Quebec.