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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fd lockboxes: Most excellent smithers!

    Esquimalt moves to put lockboxes on buildings to aid firefighters

    Bill Cleverley , Times Colonist January 9, 2013

    Not wanting firefighters wasting time fumbling through crowded key rings, Esquimalt will require lockboxes to be installed on all commercial and multi-unit residential buildings.

    Esquimalt fire trucks carry keys coded to various buildings. But with the increase in multi-unit dwellings, it’s time for a change, Fire Chief Dave Ward said in a report to council.

    “Over time and with the increase in building density, the number of keys required on the trucks has increased significantly to the point that valuable response time is being lost while searching for the specific building key,” Ward said.

    Once the lock boxes are keyed, firefighters will carry just one key instead of hundreds.

    Ward said moving to a lockbox system prevents damage to windows and doors from forced entry when keys cannot be found. It would also allow firefighters to re-secure doors without contacting the building manager or private security personnel.

    “Quick entry reduces the potential damage caused by fire or sprinkler activation,” the report says. “In addition, allowing entry for first responders in this manner means that a building occupant would not need to leave the building’s front door unlocked in order to permit access, thereby reducing the entire building security from being compromised.”

    Mayor Barb Desjardins said the change makes sense and that the bylaw — which has been given three readings by council — has raised no concerns.

    “This is seen as improving liability concerns and risks,” Desjardins said.

    “Our fire department right now is carrying around hundreds of keys for individual places so this is a matter of being able to get to a building and being able to get into an entrance without damaging [anything] and being able to respond faster.”

    The change is estimated to cost building owners or strata corporations about $520 plus tax.

    “We’ve had no one from the public or any input from any of the buildings that would suggest they have anything but support for it,” Desjardins said.

    Al Kemp, CEO of the Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C., said the type of recessed lockbox proposed by the bylaw is common. Keys are often given to fire departments and utility companies.

    “The traditional lockbox — the gold-coloured box that’s mounted on the outside of a wall — you can knock that off with a hammer in 10 seconds and you’ve got the key,” Kemp said.

    While more secure than some others, there have been issues with the recessed lockboxes.

    Last year, the Victoria Fire Department re-keyed 530 downtown lockboxes and reduce the number of master keys it keeps to access downtown commercial buildings after a key went missing and was used in a number of break-ins.

    That prompted concern among building owners, Kemp said.

    “Some owners said if these aren’t going to be secure within the fire department, to hell with it. They can kick in the door. I’m not going to have my lockbox available anymore,” he said.

    bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Knox Box: $520
    Keys for Knox Box: $20
    Not having to do damage to gain entry: Priceless!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  3. #3
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    The only thing I can add to that is a standardized form that all companies can submit if they arrive and building keys don't fit/work.
    In St. Paul we use a Form #4. It gets filled out, goes through the chain to the inspections department who sends the responsible party for the building a letter informing them to get their keys up to date. To make it simple the letter has the number for non-emergency dispatch and they will dispatch a unit to meet the caretaker or whomever. That unit will test the keys and place them into the keybox. Our computer system generates a number, we do the run report and here is a record of it being accomplished.
    Very simple and the paper trail is easy. The advantage of this, it limits the number of keybox keys in circulation to the fd rigs for accountability.
    Not pd.
    Not inspections.
    Or any other city department.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  4. #4
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Knox Box: $520
    Keys for Knox Box: $20
    Not having to do damage to gain entry: Priceless!
    True, but lets be honest, not as fun.....but way more customer friendly!
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Before the FD in a nearby city went to the boxes, listening to a dispatch was like listening to a bingo game - the various rings were color coded, then each key had a number. Blue 42! Blue 42!
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Before the FD in a nearby city went to the boxes, listening to a dispatch was like listening to a bingo game - the various rings were color coded, then each key had a number. Blue 42! Blue 42!
    Sounds more like a quarterback calling signals, changing the play at the line.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    Sounds more like a quarterback calling signals, changing the play at the line.
    Yeah. Bingo came to mind at the time.

    They called them "X cards..."
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  8. #8
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    We use the Knox Box in my area with a key locked in 3 engines, the truck, the rescue and the 3 chief's cars. We have a Knox Box on both our stations so if a cover company comes and no one is there to let them in, they have access to the station.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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