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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber downtownlt's Avatar
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    Default fire house entry ?

    we are currently looking at changing our
    doors into the station from traditional lock
    and key entry to a computerized entry system
    to better control who has keys and who can
    and cant gain access to our station. anyone
    with any info on what you use, pros / cons,
    price, and company that made and installed the
    system would be appreaciated.


  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile Well.............

    We still use a "Normal" Lock and Key. All exterior, and some interior, doors are set up with the same key. A member holding a "Standard" Key can get in any door from outside, and can open several interior doors. Officers have Master Keys which allow access to additional rooms, offices, and storage areas. We are an extremely busy Volunteer station, but there is no interest in changing anything. As a side note, there are a lot of Members who have no key of any kind. Newer folks joined and there were no keys available to give them at the time. This is not a problem as there is always people at the station, and there are always several doors open. The Apparatus doors are sometimes open for more than 24 hours straight, if we have a busy night and people are up and about all night. Otherwise, the last person going to bed will close up, and generally the first one up in the morning will open them up again. We're in a decent neighborhood where security has not been a problem. With 15 - 20 runs a day we're saving a lot of wear on the doors by leaving them up.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    We also use the old fashioned key and lock. We have the same issue of running out of keys as hwoods. We also have the problem of members who leave, or just stop showing up not returning keys, and poor record keeping on who has keys.

    We have discussed changing to combination locks so that the combination can be changes when people leave, and to solve problems of people forgetting or losing keys. That creates the problem of communicating the new combination to members.

    I'll be watching for any other ideas as well.

  4. #4
    Forum Member mustang911's Avatar
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    We do have a keypad entry and a computerized entry system.
    I believe that its a good system, except that you can't see the keypad in the dark, except fo the little red and green lights. Our system has been programmed so that when our tones drop, the outside doors automatically unlock, so people coming to the station can get inside quickly. It can also be progammed so that if you are expecting guests that are using the conference hall, all they have to do is open the door and you can just program a specific door to be unlocked, or whatever you want to do. I would recommend this system, but maybe get keypads that you can see the numbers at night!
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  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    we have a 5 button combination lock on all the doors at the firehouse and the squad. and while I think they are better than keys, I think technology has led to better locking systems.

    the best i've seen is a locking system where the key is like a small black wand, and you wave it in front of the sensor and it opens the door. these "wands" are generally attached to one's car keys.

    the system itself isn't cheap, however I think it's worth it. you can remove access privilages to someone who is suspended or dismissed, and if they take the "wand" with them, well, it's not like he can do anything with it. you can even put them on the interior doors as well, to prevent people form going into rooms they shouldn't be going into (line/bench offices, bunk rooms, confrence rooms, etc), and you also have a computer record of who's key was used to get into where.

    we don't leave our doors open unless we have someone in the bays. kind of a security risk, leaving the doors open, where someone could walk in, take something, and be gone before anyone notices it's missing.
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber downtownlt's Avatar
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    the best i've seen is a locking system where the key is like a small black wand, and you wave it in front of the sensor and it opens the door. these "wands" are generally attached to one's car keys
    thats the exact system we are looking into, but i cant find any information on it yet. can anyone help out ?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't know about the specific system in question, but the overall design is referred to a "Proximity Locks" or "Proximity Readers"

    We just started using these at my office (in conjunction w/ a finger print reader on some doors). Our system uses a key card about the size of a business card. All you have to do is hold the card w/in a close proximity to the reader pad (Hence the name).

    As was stated by DrParasite, these systems can be programmed right down to the door by door or person by person basis. Lost or non returned cards are simply dropped from the system. Also suspended persons can be temporarily disabled or restricted from certain areas.

    Here's a couple I pulled up on a quick search.
    https://www.philandson.com/productlist.php?category=45
    http://www.kantech.com
    http://www.hooverfence.com/catalog/entry_systems/
    Last edited by N2DFire; 07-29-2004 at 03:44 PM.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Don't have them at the firehouse, but the last two industrial companies I worked for had proximity card systems in place. Don't have any specific info, but if you search for "proximity card" or "proxcard" you should find a few.

    We have a 5 button combination lock system (with a 3 digit combination) on all the exterior doors at our primary firehouse. As soon as you make Trainee, you're told the combination. It's changed periodically or if someone leaves, and the new combination is sent to everyone's text pagers.

    We do have key locks on the hose tower door (accessed from the third floor of the station) and on the door at our old station. You're issued a key when you make Probie.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  9. #9
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    We have used both key locks and combination locks. In our district we have 3 stations. Station 1 on the south end and station 3 on the north end are unmanned stations housing 2 trucks each. Station 2 is our centrally located "Main" station and is manned by 1 or 2 City firefighters at all times. Volunteers responding to either staton 1 or 3, which ever they are closest to when the page come out, access the buildings via a Key lock. Up until last year they had combination locks but we had problems with them not working in all cases so they were swapped for key locks. The main Station has a combination lock on the door leading into the truck bays which can then access the rest of the station. We keep the combination locks on that door because we have a contract with Acadian Ambulance allowing them to park their ALS ambulance at our station and to store equiptment and let their crews hang out when not running calls at our station. The combination lock works better than trying to get a key to all of the different crews who may be rotating through our station with Acadian Ambulance. If they need to get in and the paid guys are elsewhere,(ie, city hall doing fire alarm tests or the library doing fire saftey demos for the kids) Acadian Dispatch can tell their crew the combination and they can let themselves in.
    The problem with the key locks on the outlying stations, 1 & 3, is that we often have FFs racing to the scene and passing stations instead of picking up tankers or service trucks to back up the first out pumper as needed. When asked why they didn't stop to get a truck the FF will often reply, "I don't have my key". Don't have your KEY?!? WTF?!? You had a key to crank your car. Isn't the key on that same ring? "Nope, it's on a separate key ring I keep for my work truck which I drive to the plant everyday." SO WHY AREN'T YOUR TRUCK KEYS ON THE SAME RING AS THE CAR KEYS? "In case my wife needs the truck I leave them at home with her." So we are short of tanker trucks because the 2 paid guys got the first 2 pumpers enroute but the 4 vollies pulling up in POVs all left their station keys at home or on another ring? AAAAaaaahhhhhh!!!!!
    Oh, before you say that the Chief needs to get on his people and tell them they need to use the keys they were issued...the Chief is one of those people arriving POV in his wife's pickup truck. Example- I responded to a structure fire last week and the Chief passed a station with 2 trucks in it including a tanker we needed. The reason he didn't pickup a tanker? "I don't have a station key on the ring to this truck." Bangs Head on Wall. Screw it. We have paid people responding to calls without bunker gear and vollies pulling up in tankers without any bunker gear (excuse-left it in my pickup truck at the sation). So getting people to use whatever lock we install is one of many problems we have.
    So if you use keys or 'little wand devices' be sure that you have some kind of written policy in place to deal with those who never seem to have their keys when they need to pick up trucks.
    Whatever you decide I wish you luck,
    Steve aka cellblock
    Last edited by cellblock; 07-29-2004 at 07:58 PM.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Eng34FF

    We have discussed changing to combination locks so that the combination can be changes when people leave, and to solve problems of people forgetting or losing keys. That creates the problem of communicating the new combination to members.
    If you do that, give everyone a different number, that way you can just delete the number of the guy that left and everyone doesn't have to remember a new number every time someone leaves.

    Eric

  11. #11
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we use the Simplex locks ........got the 5 or 6 push buttons with roman numerals......we change the combination after a member leaves. We just tell everyone at drill (which is when we do do it).
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  12. #12
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    Alot of the departments in this area use the pushbutton keypads with the 5-6 numbers on it, works pretty well.
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  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I haven't seen anyone post about the exact system we use, but here goes:

    I'm fairly sure it is made by Motorola, and uses "key fobs" that most folks attach to their key rings. The fob is about as thick as three quarters, and maybe the diameter of a half-dollar. System is setup by a master computer, which downloads info to the three stations to a system that manages all of the doors.

    All in all I'd say we have about 14 doors controlled by these units. Not sure on price, but I like the fact that it records who was where, when. I handle our turnout equipment, and I know for a fact that if something is missing from my office/storage room, either my chief or deputy chief took it out. Even other chiefs in the department don't have access, which is fantastic for inventory management.

    Each station has a soda machine inside - all of our delivery drivers have key fobs that are programmed to open the particular station door in a certain time period, usually a couple of hours. If someone is stupid or falls off the face of the earth, then one can easily lock them out. I believe our plumber has one, our mechanic that does all of our apparatus (not a member), and even mutual aid companies that cover quarters.


    Downfalls? Power outages. None of our stations back-up power is automatic, so if the power goes out a regular key must be used. Station officers and all of the chiefs carry them and seasoned members know where hiding spots are for others.


    Example

    The link is to a similar system, if someone wants particulars on what we use, let me know and I'll see what I can do. System is slick in that if you can get your hip up close enough to the receiver, you usually don't need to get the fob out of your pocket to open up the door.
    Last edited by npfd801; 07-30-2004 at 07:56 PM.

  14. #14
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    We have a door with a double lock on it, a combination keypad lock on a brown door facing south and when the sun heats it up it will not open. unless you push in on the door,alot of people forget this when caught up in the adrenalin rush and it's kind of comical. To see 4 people that can't get it open and the 5th one comes up and just pushes on it.

  15. #15
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    This is the proximity card system we use at my full-time job:

    http://www.cardacc.com/winpak2.htm

    We also have the ID card printer from Northern so we make new ID cards right on site using a digital camera. This is a great system and is very easy to use. When an employee resigns or is fired we delete their card from the system and they can't get into the plant.

    Northern has kits for 4 doors for under $3500.00

    (Not trying to sound like a salesman for Northern but that's who handles our system and their products and service are great.)
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Well.............

    Originally posted by hwoods
    We still use a "Normal" Lock and Key. All exterior, and some interior, doors are set up with the same key. A member holding a "Standard" Key can get in any door from outside, and can open several interior doors. Officers have Master Keys which allow access to additional rooms, offices, and storage areas. We are an extremely busy Volunteer station, but there is no interest in changing anything. As a side note, there are a lot of Members who have no key of any kind. Newer folks joined and there were no keys available to give them at the time. This is not a problem as there is always people at the station, and there are always several doors open. The Apparatus doors are sometimes open for more than 24 hours straight, if we have a busy night and people are up and about all night. Otherwise, the last person going to bed will close up, and generally the first one up in the morning will open them up again. We're in a decent neighborhood where security has not been a problem. With 15 - 20 runs a day we're saving a lot of wear on the doors by leaving them up.
    Wow, 15-20 runs a day is an aweful lot for a volunteer fire dept. At least from where I'm from it is.

  17. #17
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    We have key locks on all doors at both stations. However, at our municipal building is attcahed to Station 2 and when you leave the station to enter the municipal building, you have to use the keypad locks which also have fobs that some of the people in the building have..........

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by npfd801
    I haven't seen anyone post about the exact system we use, but here goes:

    I'm fairly sure it is made by Motorola, and uses "key fobs" that most folks attach to their key rings. The fob is about as thick as three quarters, and maybe the diameter of a half-dollar. System is setup by a master computer, which downloads info to the three stations to a system that manages all of the doors.

    One of the other stations in my department has this system by motorola. It works out very well for them, and we are looking at switching too it. Right now we have the combination lock, but it doesnt seem to be working real well, and we have no way to track who comes and goes. I believe the other department paid around $2500 for the motorola system.

  19. #19
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    at our station, we have one door that enters the station. it is a regular key door with a security pad right inside. everyone picks their own 4 digit code, that way if someone gets kicked out only one code needs to be taken out

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