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Farenheit 451 in real life? local gov requires "lock box" for keys & alarm code for fire dept

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posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 09:40 AM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof
There seems to be an alarming trend where some municipalities are requiring businesses and some residential dwellings, along with places like schools, and other "official" government buildings to install lock boxes which would contain the keys, alarm codes, building map, utilities layout and blue prints for the building. The box has a master key which supposedly will only be accessible by the Fire Department and possibly EMS & police (depends upon municipality who has access). It seems that the municipalities require the building owners to buy a specific brand of box and specific models so that a master key can be used and is compatible in all buildings. These boxes can range from $350-800 for small boxes and much more for larger boxes (apartment complexes, strip malls, etc).

One resident asked a representative of the lock box company who would be responsible if the box is breached and the building burglarized or damaged and one claimed that their insurance company would not cover them in cases such as this (IDK if this is true or if it was a tactic to see what the manufacturer would say & feed opposition to the regulation). The representative avoided directly answering this and basically said to find better insurance.

Many people are very concerned about the possibility of people accessing their building, especially people in the medical field where the building houses things like patient records (HIPPA laws and such), pharmacies, accountants, attorneys, insurance agencies, gun stores, etc. I can't see how having the keys and alarm code to the building sitting right outside the door being a problem with any of these businesses.

Many other owners were worried because they don't have access to the box themselves, only the FD "has access" (because only the master key can access these!). IDK if this statement was wrong or if some municipalities have the locks set to only use one key, where the original key (bought with the unit) doesn't work. This would be a problem when alarm codes or keys are changed.

Of course this regulation, which the failure to comply can result in a $500-1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail (for the first offense!), is being implemented for the safety of the brave firemen, and there is no cost to high to ensure the safety of these fine men and women AND it is less expensive to the property owner should they have a fire. The reason this is safer is because they don't have to break the doors down and some other reasons I didn't quite follow. Listening to the mayor or councilman speak it was one of those times when it was so clear he was BS'ing about the "saftey reason" - it was clear as day he was lying through his teeth and I had the suspicion that he was getting paid (either as a kickback somehow or via political contributions) to use this company due to the way he talked about them and their product. This guy was either a very bad liar or it just gets easier to detect as I get older - JMO FWIW. It is very clear that this is a "control" thing and reminds me of something that would happen in East Germany or North Korea - again JMO FWIW...

A lot of business owners signed a petition opposing the regulation and wanted an "opt-out" option stating that they would take responsibility for damage done by accessing the building, but this wasn't even considered or discussed at the meeting. There was LOTS of support for those who opposed this and many think it will eventually be required in small, single dwelling houses, everyone's home basically.

Looking at these boxes that are required, they look like they are well built (from a company video at least...) but I would think that there would be ways to access these and as more municipalities require them there will be more incentive for criminals to find easy ways to do this, even like selling master keys online, or tools to open the lock (yes they exist). Many determined people could open this box, how long it takes and how much noise is made is another matter.

This entire idea seems like a potential disaster. It seems odd that they are creating a regulation "for safety purposes" that may end up hurting a lot more people than what it could ever potentially, remotely possibly save. Also, there weren't complaints about this "saftey issue" before - IDK how the firemen survived before they had lock boxes with keys.





We have had lox-box access to all buildings including Ford Motor Co. headquarters for almost 30 years now. All major businesses in Dearborn Mi.

EMT/ Emergency MGMT
City of Dearborn, Mi




posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 09:41 AM
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PS...no party stores, gun, liquor, rest etc....MAJOR corps and buildings



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 09:42 AM
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originally posted by: TexasTruth
I am a Fireman (actually driver now) in a large city. We have the Knox box on most large buildings, the key to unlock it is in the truck locked up with a code like the Knox box.
The reason for these are no conspiracy, it’s to save the business money. If the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, we use it to reset the alarm rather that go through a $5000-$20,000 door. Likewise if there is a fire we are not stomping and dragging hose through glass. If we go to the same place more than 3x in a time frame, we are suppose to report it and they can be fined for having us out for a dirty sensor wasting our time when there may be life threatening calls we should be on.


Why do all that, when you could just point that avatar at a door lock and watch it crumble to pieces, and then point it at the fire inside and watch the fire de-sublimate into a chunk of coal.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 10:37 AM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof
There seems to be an alarming trend where some municipalities are requiring businesses and some residential dwellings, along with places like schools, and other "official" government buildings to install lock boxes which would contain the keys, alarm codes, building map, utilities layout and blue prints for the building. The box has a master key which supposedly will only be accessible by the Fire Department and possibly EMS & police (depends upon municipality who has access). It seems that the municipalities require the building owners to buy a specific brand of box and specific models so that a master key can be used and is compatible in all buildings. These boxes can range from $350-800 for small boxes and much more for larger boxes (apartment complexes, strip malls, etc).

One resident asked a representative of the lock box company who would be responsible if the box is breached and the building burglarized or damaged and one claimed that their insurance company would not cover them in cases such as this (IDK if this is true or if it was a tactic to see what the manufacturer would say & feed opposition to the regulation). The representative avoided directly answering this and basically said to find better insurance.

Many people are very concerned about the possibility of people accessing their building, especially people in the medical field where the building houses things like patient records (HIPPA laws and such), pharmacies, accountants, attorneys, insurance agencies, gun stores, etc. I can't see how having the keys and alarm code to the building sitting right outside the door being a problem with any of these businesses.

Many other owners were worried because they don't have access to the box themselves, only the FD "has access" (because only the master key can access these!). IDK if this statement was wrong or if some municipalities have the locks set to only use one key, where the original key (bought with the unit) doesn't work. This would be a problem when alarm codes or keys are changed.

Of course this regulation, which the failure to comply can result in a $500-1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail (for the first offense!), is being implemented for the safety of the brave firemen, and there is no cost to high to ensure the safety of these fine men and women AND it is less expensive to the property owner should they have a fire. The reason this is safer is because they don't have to break the doors down and some other reasons I didn't quite follow. Listening to the mayor or councilman speak it was one of those times when it was so clear he was BS'ing about the "saftey reason" - it was clear as day he was lying through his teeth and I had the suspicion that he was getting paid (either as a kickback somehow or via political contributions) to use this company due to the way he talked about them and their product. This guy was either a very bad liar or it just gets easier to detect as I get older - JMO FWIW. It is very clear that this is a "control" thing and reminds me of something that would happen in East Germany or North Korea - again JMO FWIW...

A lot of business owners signed a petition opposing the regulation and wanted an "opt-out" option stating that they would take responsibility for damage done by accessing the building, but this wasn't even considered or discussed at the meeting. There was LOTS of support for those who opposed this and many think it will eventually be required in small, single dwelling houses, everyone's home basically.

Looking at these boxes that are required, they look like they are well built (from a company video at least...) but I would think that there would be ways to access these and as more municipalities require them there will be more incentive for criminals to find easy ways to do this, even like selling master keys online, or tools to open the lock (yes they exist). Many determined people could open this box, how long it takes and how much noise is made is another matter.

This entire idea seems like a potential disaster. It seems odd that they are creating a regulation "for safety purposes" that may end up hurting a lot more people than what it could ever potentially, remotely possibly save. Also, there weren't complaints about this "saftey issue" before - IDK how the firemen survived before they had lock boxes with keys.




I can understand having elevator keys available but if a business has an urgent situation where the fire department must enter, there are several other methods. The alarm goes off I dont see any consequence if the fire department is already onsite.

This is a total scam.
edit on 18-8-2018 by drewlander because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 11:17 AM
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originally posted by: luciferslight
It does sound like a scam.

Its been over 100 years of firefighting service and yet no of them needed keys.

Break down the door and rush. Dont wait til you have your hand melted on the knob because your rushing to key in the door.


wrong...we've always had em

Dearborn Police and Fire/Emergency Services

ie: knox-lox and/lock boxes



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: DrumsRfun



Bump keys are bought,you don't make them....its the key the locksmith uses to cut your key and it is purchased at the locksmith, if they will even sell it to you....they aren't dumb.


Bump keys are basically made by making all the cuts on the key the deepest cut that keyway uses. You are talking about depth and spacing keys, they used to be used to cut keys by code on a key duplicator and are a pain in the butt. One of the keys in the set of depth and spacing keys is very close to a bump key.

We have had machines that can be used to cut keys by code for decades now and depth and spacing keys are rarely used to cut keys by code these days.

To make a bump key you have to have a key or keyblank that fits into the lock. As FCD said knox box keys are highly controlled and restricted. ONLY the FD gets a knox box key, not even a locksmith can obtain one. A knox box does not use the type of lock that can be bumped.

In GA we also use Georgia fire boxes and these keys are less controlled. But as said, if someone really wants in they don't need a key, there are plenty of was to bypass a door lock. It is said locks only keep honest people out.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 03:31 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

The box, known as a "Knox Box", is a requirement under the National Fire Code (NFPA), and has been adopted by most every major municipality across the country for many (many) years. This is nothing new, even remotely. The fines and/or penalties for failure to comply vary by jurisdiction, but the ruling has been in place for decades. Typically, the biggest penalty of all though is, the local AHJ ("Authority Having Jurisdiction" - formerly 'Fire Marshal') will not issue a 'Certificate of Occupancy' (CO) without one being installed. This is HUGE because no one can use the building until the CO has been issued.

Knox boxes, if installed properly, are very difficult if not impossible to compromise. Oh sure, a person could probably open one with a torch or something, but they're not something a common street criminal could open. They're like a miniature safe/vault. It's a box about 3" tall by 3" wide by 2" deep. And the lock is designed in such a way that traditional lock picking tools will not be able to open one. The keys to open one are tightly controlled, and no, EMS and LEO's usually do not have a key, only Fire, and for good reason too!

The Knox-box itself does not usually have anything but a key inside. They don't have codes to disable alarms because they don't care if they set off alarms upon entry. In fact, the more alarms they set off the better! Fire doesn't care if they set off a burgler alarm as an LEO response is usually required anyway. This is an extra deterrent to would be thieves too.

Now to plans of the building. Immediately inside the door which the key inside the Knox-box opens is another Code required device, and this is called a Fire Alarm Annunciator panel which will indicate what alarms have been triggered, show a location and also show the location of the Code required Fire Alarm Master Panel and/or Fire Command Center. Again, this is all required by Code, and has been for some time.

Typically, most of these items are not required for Residential Buildings, only Commercial.


Never underestimate the criminal with a cordless angle grinder, might take a minute and be noises but it’s not stopping an abrasive cutoff wheel, not to even mention a tungsten carbide metal blade. Personally I think if the building isn’t higher than usual security that would actually hamper the entrance of emergency responders if the the can knock down a door to a residence they should be more than able to get into a business with not much more effort or even less in the case of a glass store front. Plus why do you care if the firefighters are going to break things getting in, it’s better than the alternative of being gutted by fire.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 03:34 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: DrumsRfun



Bump keys are bought,you don't make them....its the key the locksmith uses to cut your key and it is purchased at the locksmith, if they will even sell it to you....they aren't dumb.


Bump keys are basically made by making all the cuts on the key the deepest cut that keyway uses. You are talking about depth and spacing keys, they used to be used to cut keys by code on a key duplicator and are a pain in the butt. One of the keys in the set of depth and spacing keys is very close to a bump key.

We have had machines that can be used to cut keys by code for decades now and depth and spacing keys are rarely used to cut keys by code these days.

To make a bump key you have to have a key or keyblank that fits into the lock. As FCD said knox box keys are highly controlled and restricted. ONLY the FD gets a knox box key, not even a locksmith can obtain one. A knox box does not use the type of lock that can be bumped.

In GA we also use Georgia fire boxes and these keys are less controlled. But as said, if someone really wants in they don't need a key, there are plenty of was to bypass a door lock. It is said locks only keep honest people out.






Oh the keys are out there I can all but guarantee that, I mean the keys firefighters use to control elevators in an emergency are illegal to obtain but the code got leaked and now you can buy full master key sets for huge cities like NYC, they tried to scrub the codes from open source documentation but they’re still out there.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

I am sure there are a few stray keys out there, but there are much easier ways to get past a locked door than getting the key to open it out of a Knox Box.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 04:37 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: BigDave-AR

I am sure there are a few stray keys out there, but there are much easier ways to get past a locked door than getting the key to open it out of a Knox Box.


Never disputed that it just reminded me of the anecdote about the elevator firefighter override keys that I thought would be interesting to throw in here. I hear a slide hammer to the lock tumbler works a treat haven’t had to test that one but seems pretty effective to me.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 04:47 PM
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Nevermind, when I read that it had the alarm code in the box I thought it was that burglar alarm code.

It still doesn't change my other point about it being unconstitutional. Because the government cannot force us to buy a product.
edit on 8/18/2018 by Alien Abduct because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: Alien Abduct

The government forces businesses to buy a lot of things. Like fire extinguishers and exit signs, to name a few off the top of my head.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR
If it doesn't pick or bump within a minute, I always pull out the drill.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 05:41 PM
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**FYI...In a lot of municipalities...at least 1 engineer and 1 maintenance man are reqd on premises 24/7...

If an alarm goes to the 911...and no fire, smoke or obvious evidence of ER...they may use the key to enter to silence the alarms and especially...locate the engineer/maintenance supervisor to make sure they are ok.

And see why they didn't silence the alarms and do a walk thru.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 05:50 PM
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Apartment complex gates have Knox Switches the FD uses to open the gate if there is a fire. Some gates have SOS devices (Siren Operated Sensor) instead, they open the gates when the siren is sounded.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 08:31 PM
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originally posted by: DrumsRfun
a reply to: Alien Abduct

A lock box is a small box and isn't electronic (not ones I use)
A fire panel (alarm) is wired and monitored for fire protection.
How do you get a security risk from that??

If we REALLY want to talk security....a lock is a tool to keep you at ease.
If someone wants in,they are getting in.


I read your post and can't make much sense out of it.
Spending a bit of cash on fire protection is good for insurance and better safety for the people.
I see 0 negatives with regulations for fire protection.





Okay after watching this report I stand by my original statement.

So you can’t make sense of my statement? I’ll try and simplify it for you.

The Knox box DOES have the security alarm code in it. Therefore if I want to rob the place all I have to do is defeat the Knox box and I am in AND I can turn off the alarm.

BEFORE the Knox box I would have had to defeat the door lock AND THEN somehow turn the alarm off.

This Knox box renders the security alarm useless.


edit on 8/18/2018 by Alien Abduct because: Added link



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 08:58 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

The box, known as a "Knox Box", is a requirement under the National Fire Code (NFPA), and has been adopted by most every major municipality across the country for many (many) years. This is nothing new, even remotely. The fines and/or penalties for failure to comply vary by jurisdiction, but the ruling has been in place for decades. Typically, the biggest penalty of all though is, the local AHJ ("Authority Having Jurisdiction" - formerly 'Fire Marshal') will not issue a 'Certificate of Occupancy' (CO) without one being installed. This is HUGE because no one can use the building until the CO has been issued.

Knox boxes, if installed properly, are very difficult if not impossible to compromise. Oh sure, a person could probably open one with a torch or something, but they're not something a common street criminal could open. They're like a miniature safe/vault. It's a box about 3" tall by 3" wide by 2" deep. And the lock is designed in such a way that traditional lock picking tools will not be able to open one. The keys to open one are tightly controlled, and no, EMS and LEO's usually do not have a key, only Fire, and for good reason too!

The Knox-box itself does not usually have anything but a key inside. They don't have codes to disable alarms because they don't care if they set off alarms upon entry. In fact, the more alarms they set off the better! Fire doesn't care if they set off a burgler alarm as an LEO response is usually required anyway. This is an extra deterrent to would be thieves too.

Now to plans of the building. Immediately inside the door which the key inside the Knox-box opens is another Code required device, and this is called a Fire Alarm Annunciator panel which will indicate what alarms have been triggered, show a location and also show the location of the Code required Fire Alarm Master Panel and/or Fire Command Center. Again, this is all required by Code, and has been for some time.

Typically, most of these items are not required for Residential Buildings, only Commercial.



It says in this report that the security alarm codes are contained within the Knox box.


If there is no traffic and no people nearby then you could cut it where it is on the wall. However if I was worried about attracting attention I could simply smack it off the wall with a 20 pound sledgehammer or pry it off with a big crow bar and take the box somewhere where I can cut it open with my diamond tipped lithium ion 20V battery powered angle grinder.

If this report I posted above is true and the alarm code is in that box then that box renders that alarm useless as I have demonstrated.



posted on Aug, 19 2018 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: Alien Abduct

That's one report, and not one of authority. It's just what one person on U-toob says.

I have personally seen what is in them. I work with these kinds of systems every single day. I've never seen any of that stuff in a knox-box. Just a key. There may be some jurisdiction which requires this, but I can't understand why they would even care to have this. It simply doesn't make sense. Why would a fire dept want to turn off a security alarm?? If there's a fire, they could care less if they set off a burglar alarm / security system...their sole reason in being there is to PUT OUT THE FIRE!

That some dude on boob-toob comes along and makes some drama video doesn't prove jack!

If you want to make some great big conspiracy out of knox boxes then at least say something like... "they keep aliens locked up in there"...or something, it'd be more credible.

Show me the data where knox-boxes have been compromised en-mass and businesses around the country have suffered losses as a result of people breaking in with security codes contained in lock boxes. In fact, show me even one credible report of such an incident (not some goo-toob video of a guy speculating about some BS).

ETA - To your point though, I would agree; a business owner should not have to supply security codes in a knox box. And, to that end, if I were ever asked to do that I would ask whoever requested this to show me where it states this as a requirement in the national or local codes (show me the specific requirement, not just paraphrase it...SHOW IT TO ME (i.e. get the statutuatory Code and actually point to this specific regulation!). Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.

And here's why I know your argument will not prevail.... The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and 'as adopted' statutes, which is the "Fire Code", deals ONLY with "life safety". Having a security code to a building has absolutely ZERO to do with 'life safety'. Period.

edit on 8/19/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2018 @ 07:38 AM
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You know, the more I think about this...there is one possibility (although I've not seen one)...

If a fire alarm was coupled with a security system (which I could envision as a possibility), then there could be a requirement for an access code to the system to reset the "fire alarm" portion of the system, but this is the only possible thing I can envision. Otherwise there is no justification for such a requirement. Again, I've never seen this personally because most fire alarm systems are expressly prohibited from doing anything but fire alarm functions.

Anyway, I just thought I'd toss this in for balance.



posted on Aug, 19 2018 @ 09:14 AM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
Apartment complex gates have Knox Switches the FD uses to open the gate if there is a fire. Some gates have SOS devices (Siren Operated Sensor) instead, they open the gates when the siren is sounded.



Yes. A common company whose fire control alarm system that's in all over every major company in metro Detroit is "SIMPLEX"...and it's notorious for alerting for no reason. Used to be a daily hassle for me as executive security supervisor.

Going off during business hr's... do we do a quick walk thru? Or do we order an entire 9 story building evacuated w 1500 employees going out to the parking lot designated areas in a rain or snowstorm?

AFTER hours... It helps the F. D. get in and locate building engineers and reset the Simplex system after a walk thru. I used to do a reset myself as quick as I could verify.... before the whole damn city militia, sirens and lights blaring and flashing would respond.

I hated that damn Simplex system.... And 90% of Ford building still use it.... MS



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