[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ledgeview 5-19-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 49, Fire Department, consisting of Art. I, Access to Multifamily Dwellings, adopted 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-08, as amended.
The intent of this chapter is to allow fire and emergency medical service personnel to gain immediate entry to certain properties so as to allow the fire and/or emergency medical service personnel to perform their duties. In order to accomplish this goal, the Town of Ledgeview elects to require the use of rapid-entry key box devices and associated equipment as provided by the Knox Company and currently in use by the Fire Department within certain structures in the Town of Ledgeview.
The Town requires the use of rapid-entry lock box devices and associated equipment as described in § 49-1 above, in the following buildings:
In all commercial and/or industrial buildings;
In all multifamily residential structures containing three or more living units which contain common hallways, furnace rooms or corridors which have restricted access via locked doors;
Which contain a fire alarm system that uses an automatic dialer;
Which contain an automatic fire-suppression system;
Any property which is fully enclosed by a fenced or lock gate in such a fashion as to restrict or impede access during a period of emergency; or
Any other commercial or industrial building identified by fire officials as difficult to access during an emergency which, in the case of an emergency, may result in significant loss of life or significant property or environmental damage based on the factors including, but not limited to, fire load, occupant load, building construction and storage or use of hazardous materials.
A key box shall be installed in an accessible location approved by the Fire Department. The key box shall be mounted not less than four feet six inches, nor more than five feet six inches above grade. The Knox Box is not required to be attached to or monitored by any alarm system, but it is recommended.
The key box shall contain keys for all of the following:
Locked points of ingress or egress, whether on the interior, exterior or exterior locked gates of said building or property;
Any locked mechanical equipment room;
Any locked electrical rooms;
Any locked elevator control;
Any alarm control room/panels;
For multitenant buildings, a key for each tenant or business suite; however, keys are not required to gain access to any private residence; and
Any other areas as required by the Fire Department.
As an alternative to having the interior keys located at the exterior Knox Box location, a second Knox Box or lock box may be located within the main lobby of the building to hold those keys. Prior to installation of any secondary Knox Box or lock box, the owner/operator of the structure shall meet with the designated Town of Ledgeview Fire Chief or his or her designee to identify an appropriate location.
The owner/operator of a structure shall obtain and purchase a Knox Box at their cost from the Town at the time of the issuance of the building permit;
The owner/operator shall provide to the Fire Department the proper keys for the required access;
The owner/operator shall notify the Fire Department immediately when locks and/or keys have been changed; and
The owner/operator shall keep the immediate area of the key box free and clear of any obstructions.
[Amended 10-3-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-018]
The Fire Chief has the authority to make exceptions under any of the following conditions:
Any building, structure, or property having on-site, twenty-four-hour personnel and twenty-four-hour alarm monitoring systems.
Any building, structure, or property which is deemed to have unique hazardous situations to the health and safety of emergency personnel.
Any building, structure, or property having less hazardous occupancies may use alternative methods to secure the site.
In the event of the activation of a fire alarm call which is deemed by the Fire Chief to be a nuisance fire alarm, the owner of the property shall be given a fire alarm activation report indicating that the activation was deemed to be the result of a nuisance fire alarm. Upon receipt of such a report, the owner shall, within 15 days, present reasonable evidence to the satisfaction of the Fire Chief that the fire alarm system has been examined by a qualified fire alarm technician and that a bona fide attempt has been made to identify and correct any defects in design, installation or operation of the fire alarm system which was identifiable as a cause of the nuisance fire alarm. Failure to provide such evidence shall be a violation of this section and may be punishable pursuant to § 1-16B of the Ledgeview Code of Ordinances.
If three such nuisance alarms are made from the same property within any twelve-month period, the owner of the property shall be assessed a forfeiture of $500 in addition to any other forfeitures or penalties provided by § 1-16B of the Ledgeview Code of Ordinances.
For the purposes of this section, a "nuisance fire alarm" means the activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the Fire Department and which is caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, lack of proper maintenance or any other reason for which the Fire Department personnel are unable to determine the apparent cause of the alarm activation.
It is unlawful to tamper with any rapid-entry system/Knox Box system or to remove any key from such a box without the permission of the Fire Chief or his or her designee. Violations shall be punishable pursuant to § 1-16B, Ledgeview Code of Ordinances.
This chapter is effective upon passage and publication. All newly constructed buildings, not yet occupied, or buildings currently under construction shall comply immediately prior to occupancy. As existing buildings perform work which requires the issuance of a building permit, said buildings, structures, or property shall be brought into compliance with this chapter unless specifically exempted from the application of this chapter by the Fire Chief or his or her designee.