Helping kids & animals in hot cars— know your rights

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COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)— Central Ohio is under an excessive heat warning through Saturday night.

Heat index values are around 100 Thursday and near or above 105 Friday and Saturday, according to warnings from the National Weather Service.

Vehicles that are not running can heat up to dangerous levels in minutes in these conditions, and leaving children or pets inside can result in deadly consequences.

In Ohio, if someone comes across a distressed child or animal inside a vehicle in the heat, they are permitted to break into the vehicle to save the child or animal without facing legal consequences, but there are proper steps to take.

OHIO REVISED CODE: 959.133 Immunity from liability for damage resulting from forcible entry of a motor vehicle for purpose of removing an animal.

Sgt. Chantay Boxill with the Columbus Division of Police says, first, check to see if a door is unlocked or a window rolled down enough for you to get your arm in to open a door, then, call 911.

“However, if you come up on a car, and you recognize there is a child or an animal that is in distress, that is definitely in need of emergency medical attention, break the window,” Boxill added.

Governor John Kasich signed the Good Samaritan hot vehicle law in 2016.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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