How To Break Auto Glass During A Hot Car Emergency


Have you ever been in a situation where you were unsure what to do? This week Auto Glass Doc isn’t just focusing on auto glass repair. Instead, we want to address a very important issue that happens so many times each year, and in some cases can be deadly. It is a devastating topic, but we want to assure our customers that there are actions you can take when a situation like seeing a child or animal locked in a hot car occurs. This is something that is seen plastered all over local news and social media every summer and it is time to know what to do in a hot car emergency.

When the owner of the vehicle or bystander realizes they have locked their child or animal in a hot car a person’s first instinct is to break the glass, but, like many things, there is a right and wrong way to do so. First things first, call 9-1-1. It is crucial and very important to not panic and dial 9-1-1 immediately, especially if you are a bystander and don’t own the car.

Under the Florida Good Samaritan Act: pets included.

“Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment… shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment.”

With that being said, if you come across a child or animal stuck in a hot car, call 9-1-1, act accordingly, and try to find the owner of the vehicle. It’s important to understand that for pets in the state of Florida, the owner of the animal or vehicle may press charges against this individual and seek reparation for damages. These laws may vary in other states.

The design and strength of auto glass

Before we dive into the right and wrong way to break auto glass in an emergency situation, it’s important to understand the design of auto glass and just how strong it is.

The windshield is designed to withstand dirt, rocks, and debris. It is the strongest piece of auto glass on the entire vehicle. The automotive industry is very strict and adamant about the strength of the auto glass being placed on cars. Every windshield is made of super-strength laminated glass while the side and back windows are made from a shatter proof tempered glass.

In a situation where you need to break a window on a vehicle many may think it’s easy, but you really need specific tools and a strategy behind it to properly break the glass. In an emergency situation, it is understandable that you react, and you don’t really think about how you’re getting into the car.

Knowing what to do when an animal or child is locked in a hot car

  • Call authorities.

The first thing you should always do in an emergency is call 9-1-1. You must always do this even if you feel like you have the situation under control and can get into the locked car. The child or animal may need medical attention.

  • Take photos and have proof of the incident.

Doing this is crucial. It’s important to take pictures for authorities but also to show that the child or animal was locked in the car. It is also important to get a picture of the window after it is damaged to unlock the car.

If you are somewhere near a supermarket, restaurant, or gas station, let the employees know and if possible, they can make an announcement to let the owner know what has happened.

  • Don’t confront the car owner.

Let the authorities arrive and handle the rest if you have taken it upon yourself to break a window to remove an animal or child from that situation. If the owner of the vehicle shows up to the scene be sure to remain calm. In different situations, they might be upset.

  • If the owner of the vehicle drives off

If the owner of the vehicle shows up before you have to break a window be sure to have already called the authorities and taken license plate information. They might be scared and don’t want to be held accountable for the incident.

By the books step by step way of breaking into a hot car when a person or pet is trapped inside.

  1. Select the window furthest from the child or pet.
  2. Use a tire iron or wrench (any extremely tough object)
  3. Choose a part of the window that is near the door lock in case you are only able to create a small hole. This way you are able to reach the lock from outside of the car and unlock the door.
  4. Auto glass is tougher than you think to break, be aware and know that it takes a few times and strength, in some cases.
  5. Hit the window with the edge or sharp part of an object.
  6. Be sure to cover your hand or arm when reaching into the car to unlock the door.
  7. Grab the child out of the car with their car seat. If it is a pet, make sure to find water and a shaded area.

Other objects you can use to break the window and save a life.

Use any type of porcelain shard.

  • Ashtray
  • Coffee Mug
  • Any object glass object from a nearby convenient store or restaurant
  • Ask a bystander if they have a solid object

With auto glass repair comes uncertain situations and technicians have seen it all. Being educated on a topic like this could save a life someday. So many will say they don’t know the first step they would take if they walked by a car on a hot summer day with a small child or animal left it in.

This guide is here to help. Staying informed, always being aware of your surroundings, knowing state laws, and spreading the word about this issue can make a difference.

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Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

Enter your full name

What is your glass issue?

Enter a valid email

Where can we reach you?

Any additional information we should know about.