Tuscaloosa Fire Department to bake cookies in hot car to demonst - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa Fire Department to bake cookies in hot car to demonstrate dangers of heat index

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The Tuscaloosa Police Department measured the heat as they baked cookies on the dashboard of a car. They hoped to demonstrate the dangers of leaving pets and children inside cars, even for short times, in the summer. The Tuscaloosa Police Department measured the heat as they baked cookies on the dashboard of a car. They hoped to demonstrate the dangers of leaving pets and children inside cars, even for short times, in the summer.
TUSCALOOSA, AL - The recent death of a child in a hot car has local law enforcement trying to educate the public on the danger. Police are investigating the death of nearly 2-year-old Cooper Harris who was found dead after being left in a hot car all day. Harris's father, Justin Ross Harris, a Tuscaloosa native, is being held in Georgia on murder charges.

RELATED: Parents encouraged to check the back seat in hot weather after toddler dies in car in Atlanta

The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Department held a demonstration to show just how hot it can get inside of a car.

You’ve heard of it being so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, but what about baking cookies on a dashboard? The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Department said the experiment was a good illustration to show just how hot it can get in a car.

“I think sometime people under estimate how hot it gets and how quickly that temperature rises inside a car, even if the windows are partially closed," Chief Alan Martin with The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Department said.

So how hot was it? The fire department pulled out their tools they use to check the temperature of fires.

“It's made to be able to see through smoke. It looks at heat; thermal imaging just like flare you would have on a helicopter or a military plane. But it allows us to see in terms of heat. You can see the pan we just put it. I don't know if you can see the edge of the other pans. Notice the difference in the temperatures," Captain Gene Pugh with The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Department said. 

But was it enough to bake the cookies? Oh yes! The hotter it got inside the car the faster the cookies baked. The first batch was ready in about 40 minutes.

As the clock counted closer to noon, every half hour the temperature rose by about 15 degrees.

The fire department said a child's body temperature can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult, and heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, and on a day when the temperature is just 80 degrees, a car can reach deadly levels in 10 minutes.

So the take away: don't leave children or pets in a car unattended.

The fire department suggests drivers make it a habit to look in the backseat every time you exit the car, always lock the car and put the keys out of reach, and if you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away.

RELATED: Boy invents device to remind parents of children in hot cars
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