Fairfield officials remind motorists that heat can kill
FAIRFIELD — As the summer heat begins in earnest, town officials are once again reminding residents that “Heat Kills.”
The campaign to remind motorists to not leave children or pets in a hot car started in 2015, at the urging of state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132. “We’ve done such a good job in Fairfield,” she said.
The town has metal signs for parking lots, and smaller window decals for business owners to use to remind their customers of the danger of a hot car.
Animal Control Officer Paul Miller said there were 52 complaints about animals left in cars in 215, prior to the signs going up. The next year, he said, it dropped to 25. This year, there have been 10 complaints.
“It means people are more aware,” Miller said. There are over 70 of the “Heat Kills” signs posted throughout town.
Kupchick said this year, the state legislature expanded the good Samaritan law that covers people breaking into cars to rescue children to include pets.
“Heat does kill, we know that,” Police Chief Gary MacNamara said, adding the department is encouraging business owners to contact the department if they want a sign. And while the law covers people for breaking into cars to rescue pets, MacNamara said they should always call the police.
He said sometimes it is not a case of animal mistreatment, a person might not be aware of how fast a car can heat up, and how that heat affects animals. If there is mistreatment, though, MacNamara said, there would be charges issued.
“They have had a conversation with an individual to explain the dangers,” Kupchick said. “They may not have been aware.”
Following Fairfield’s lead, Kupchick said Trumbull adopted a similar program last year but is asking the business owners to pay for the signs. There is no charge in Fairfield.