Concerns Increase As Death Toll Rises
Fire departments around the country are noticing an increased number of deaths related to motor vehicles with keyless ignition. With advanced technology, many new vehicles have the ability to start, run and drive without physically touching an ignition key. This feature can be very convenient, as you do not have to dig into your pockets or purse to find the ignition key.
The way keyless ignition works is by using a key fob, rather, that needs to stay within a specified distance of the motor vehicle at all times. This distance is regulated by that particular car manufacturer. When that key fob reaches a close enough distance for that motor vehicle to recognize its presence, that vehicle has the ability to perform as any other vehicle would with an ignition key. A simple START/STOP button on the dashboard is the only “key” that needs to be activated.
The danger in this feature comes well after you run errands at the grocery store, or pick up your kids from school. What seems to be happening far too often is the owners of the vehicles return to their homes where they park their vehicles in the garage. Not having to turn an ignition key to stop the vehicle, these vehicle owners forget to push the START/STOP button on the dashboard. As the vehicle owner heads into the house, they close the garage door and return to their usual home routine; meanwhile, the vehicle remains running in the garage.
The number of Carbon Monoxide related deaths due to keyless ignition vehicles is rising by this simple error. These vehicle owners are later effected by what is known as the “silent killer”, Carbon Monoxide. Outcomes ranging from brain damage to death have been the increasingly devastating trend. The Sycamore Fire Department would like to make all vehicle owners aware of these incidents, to help prevent this from happening to you or anyone you may know.
Many key fobs have an alarm that sounds when the key drifts too far from the vehicle. Sometimes, however, these fobs get left inside the vehicle itself, or on a shelf near the garage that is still within the manufacturer’s regulated distance for activation.
A few reminders that could help protect you and your family from a potentially lethal tragedy:
Make sure you have working Carbon Monoxide Detectors in your home. Not only will this protect you and your family against motor-vehicle emissions, but it will detect improper emissions from your appliances that burn fuel to function.
Never run your motor vehicle inside a garage. Whether it is to pre-warm your vehicle during cold weather or to do engine repairs, always run the vehicle outside.
For more information on keyless ignition safety or Carbon Monoxide, please contact the Sycamore Fire Department at (815) 895-4514, or visit them on Facebook at City of Sycamore Fire Department for occasional postings.