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FREE Door Unlocking If....

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  • FREE Door Unlocking If....

    Saw this van parked at a hotel recently. Lettering on the side promotes a FREE service; FREE door unlocking if a child is locked inside the vehicle.

    Interesting concept. If the service is FREE and I know I won't get charged $$$ for calling the locksmith, when my child gets accidentally locked inside my car, will I call the lockmith sooner? I won't have to screw around with a coat hanger trying to avoid paying a $45-$60 service call fee while my child bakes inside the car. A typical parent doesn't realize that even 90 degrees F outside temperatures on a sunny day can create lethal inside temperatures in less than 20 minutes.

    Should we as fire/rescue responders team up with our local locksmith and promote this type of FREE service? As we inform the public of this special offer, the locksmith gets some publicity. We could also use it as an opportunity to promote the hazards of interior vehicle heat-related deaths of children and animals. Nice Public Education program.

    Or, on the other hand, would this service in your community promote parents being more careless? "Oh I don't have to worry. When my kid gets locked inside my car, the XYZ Locksmith Company will come out for nothing and open the door, so it's no big deal!"

    What's your thoughts?
    Attached Files
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  • #2
    Close-up look at the promotional logo on the side of the Locksmith's van.
    Attached Files
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator


    • #3
      This is something that my fire co. has provided for years, I wonder if this companies response time puts the child at risk if the parents do not call 911 also.


      • #4
        This topic is in FireRescue this month. In a car at an outside temp of 82 the inside could reach lethal temperatures in less than 10 minutes.
        While I think it is great to let the locksmith team up with us for a rescue, if it is hot out we need to act now and not in a few minutes. It is a nice resource to keep in mind.

        Do a good survey and don't be afraid to break a window.


        • #5
          We offer the service for 'free' as well! Free in that you don't give us any money at the time of service and free upgrade in your air conditioning service trough the broken window

          Seriously, if this were available that would be great, but you're dealing with a non-emergency vehicle taking his time to get to your location after they finish up their current job and and add on to that once they get on scene then they go through trying to open the door damage free. It's great to offer if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, but by no means is it a reason for someone with their child in the car to not call 911. A broken window is a far cheaper price to pay than jeopardizing the health of your child.


          • #6
            The points on response time are certainly valid, but...

            I would say there is nothing wrong with having the program, and even making the call first to see if there is a truck in the area. If a truck is 2 minutes away, and the situation is not critical, let them give it a shot. Everybody leaves happy and no bill for the unfortunate motorist.

            If the truck is ten minutes away, or it is a hot day, of course pop the window. I would expect the Locksmith to automatically call the FD/PD on behalf of the parent anytime those criteria are present as well. If the FD has a discussion with the Locksmith beforehand, they can define a reasonable protocol that includes this clause.

            I am not convinced that a parents first reaction is always to call the FD. I would suspect many people call AAA, the locksmith, or even waste time trying to get a spare key delivered from home, etc. I agree that this type of program would deter parents from wasting time, and through good coordination with the Locksmith, could very well speed emergency services response in the event of a worst case scenario as well.

            I have to give it a thumbs up, at least in principle.
            Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



            • #7
              i can see calling them if the vehicle is running but if it's not then fire dept should be called or both. first one there opens a window.

              something about the DFW area and kids locked in cars during the summer. I don't know if it's the area or just the media reporting it more up there. i remember several calls of kids being locked in cars and having serious complications when I lived up there.
              NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
              IACOJ Attack

              Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.


              • #8
                Who's checking to make sure the vehicle is actually that person's? I don't want to be involved in a car theft/kidnapping.

                I want the PD to respond to verify who's car it is, and to also issue citation for leaving their kid in a car anyways......
                The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........


                • #9
                  If a parent left a kid unattended, locked in a car...is a kidnapping much worse? Just being rhetorical, but still...

                  Sounds like a good idea, but every situation requires discretion. Waiting a half hour on a 60 degree day with a car in the shade is a lot different than a 90 degree day in the sun (can you say spring loaded center punch?)

                  In my rural area, you could be looking at a several hours for a locksmith to show up...I know...I had to once! Trying to find one available on a holiday sunday...eeeesh!

                  BTW, I do agree with calling the PD and let them analyze just how the kid ended up locked in the car!
                  IACOJ Canine Officer


                  • #10
                    Hey!!! Pop-A-Lock!!! They do the same thing here! I have their number programmed into my cell phone. We run nothing but lock in's. A lock out in our jurisdiction means no one is inside, we generally don't respond. I call them (pop-a-lock) on the way to every lock in. If we assess the situation and the child/person is in ANY immediate danger, we break glass and call the locksmith off.

                    P.S. Don't kid yourself, the locksmith gets the persons name and number, gives them a comped (balance due zero) receipt, and writes it off on their taxes. A great service and a tax write off for the smith!!!
                    *~~~John J. Troyer~~~*
                    -Sedgwick County FD Wichita, KS
                    Lieutenant - Tech Rescue Station #37B
                    -Hutchinson Community College
                    Instructor - OSHA, Fire, Rescue
                    -Norwich Fire Department
                    Volunteer Firefighter

                    Stay safe and remember, Gravity never sleeps!


                    • #11
                      Our Brass put an end to carrying a slim jim (or like tools) on our apparatus back in 91 or so because of "liability" of causing damage to the electric wiring. Even the cops around here are not carrying them any more. We still get calls to help out or we spot a person in a parking lot somewhere and we give them a hand with their coat-hanger and we call the local locksmith out particularly when we are having no luck. IF there are ever kids locked inside call the locksmith immediately and in the summer we are a bit more aggresive in gettting our "master key" a.k.a. Window Punch out to expedite the situation.

                      Back to Ron's question though. I think it is a fantastic idea to see if our local locksmith will do this "free" service for the KIDS inside the car, and contact law enforcement for the Parents OUTSIDE the car. I think our locksmith will gladly cooperate.

                      Be safe bro's

                      "Making Sense with Common Sense"
                      Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
                      ( [email protected]) Jordan Sr.


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