Skip to comments.Town Makes Residents Hand Over Their Keys
Posted on 06/14/2011 9:05:45 PM PDT by freedommom
Seven years ago the Cedar Falls City Council passed an ordinance requiring lock boxes on commercial buildings and larger apartment complexes. Hardly a soul made a peep about it.
On Monday the council voted 6-1 on a third and final reading to expand the ordinance to include more apartment buildings. In the days leading up to the vote, they received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails from people all over the country from people upset about the issue.
Some calls came in the middle of the night. Some writers threatened them and called them scumbags, or worse.
The issue had blown up on the Internet in recent days with message boards, primarily those tilting toward conservative and tea party viewpoints, spreading the story nationwide.
(Excerpt) Read more at nation.foxnews.com ...
If this a trend we are in trouble....
I wounder how many people will put a copy of all their keys to their residence in a lockbox in front of their house............
Even a mediocre lawyer could beat the crap out of this with little effort.
This is an outright outrage!
I’ll put keys in their stupid box. They won’t be to anything useful like my door ;)
>> Some writers threatened them and called them scumbags, or worse.
Making threats is completely stupid, unnecessary, pointless, and illegal. Hey, but “scumbags”, if the shoe fits...
Back when I lived in apartments, I always changed the locks when I moved in. Then, I changed them back when I left. I’m sure it would have cheesed them off if they had known about it.
We don't need no stinkin' lockbox!
This is not new nor is it some great threat to property rights and freedom and security.
Lock boxes (Knox) for commercial occupancies over a certain square footage and/or equpped with centralized alarm systems are part of the NFPA Life Safety and Fire Prevention Codes. If States adopt these codes part of having commercial plans approved by the Fire District is that they have these lock boxes. Sometimes the code may be amended to more broad requirements but I don’t know if that is the case here.
This is a fairly typical adoption of the code from Millington, Tennessee.
“7-2A01. Key lock box required. All buildings or parts of buildings served by an internal automatic fire detection or suppression system, having a connection to a central monitoring station facility, shall be provided with a key lock box approved prior to installation by the city fire department. Those facilities which provide proprietary services, such as, but not limited to, hotels,motels, hazardous, factory/industrial, etc. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)
7-2A02. Location of key lock box. The key lock box shall be located:
(3) At or near the recognized public entrance, adjacent to the fire annunciator panel, on the exterior of the structure, or above the F.D.C., when occupancy is serviced by the fire sprinkler system with internal control valves and wall mounted F.D.C. Locations of key lock boxes must be approved by the fire department.
(4) The key lock box shall be located at a height of not less than six (6)feet and not more than twelve (12) feet above final grade.
(5) No steps, displays, signs, or other fixtures or structure protrusions which would allow intruders to access the box without assistance shall be located under the key lock box.
(6) The key lock box shall be connected to the NFPA 72A fire alarm control panel, when such a panel is provided. Wiring shall be supervised as required in NFPA 72. Tampering with or opening of the key lock box shall produce a supervisory signal on Supervisory Zone 1. The signal will then be transmitted through NFPA 71 panel as a supervisory signal. If an NFPA 71 panel only is used, wiring shall be supervised as required in NFPA 71.
Tampering with or opening of the key lock box shall produce a supervisory signal. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)Change 11, July 6, 2009 7-5
7-2A03. Key lock box contents. The key lock box shall contain the keys for the following. The keys shall be labeled so as to be easily identified in the field.
(1) The main entrance door. Mixed occupancies and strip shopping center keys shall be provided only for occupancies where system control valves or fire alarm system panel exists;
(2) Alarm room (if one exists);
(3) Mechanical rooms and sprinkler control rooms;
(4) Fire alarm control rooms;
(5) Electrical rooms;
(6) Special keys to reset pull-stations of other fire protection devices;
(7) Elevator keys; and
(8) All other rooms as specified during the plans review process. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)
7-2A04. Key lock boxes for apartment complexes. (1) All new
apartment complexes served by manual fire alarm systems shall be required to install a key lock box.
(a) Location of the key lock box will be determined by plans review of by a fire department field inspector.
(b) The box shall be placed at a height of not less than six (6) feet and not more than twelve (12) feet above finished grade.
(c) Key lock box contents: The key lock box shall contain keys for the following. The keys shall be labeled to be easily identified in the field.
(i) Alarm room or area where alarm panel is installed;
(ii) Alarm panel;
(iii) Any special keys or tools to reset pull-stations; and
(iv) All other areas as specified during the plans review
(2) The key lock box need not be supervised.
(3) Only apartment complex owners, management companies, or
manager may purchase key lock boxes for apartment complexes. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)
7-2A05. Administration. (1) New structures. The plans review section of the fire department shall be responsible for the administration of these
requirements and shall indicate specific requirements for each building or part of a building subject to this chapter.
(2) Existing structures. The inspection section of the fire department shall be responsible for administration of these standards and shall notify the owner or operator in writing that the owner or operator must comply with one or more of the following:
(a) Contact a licensed fire alarm contractor;
Change 11, July 6, 2009 7-6
(b) Contractor may obtain applications for key lock box from the fire department’s plans review section;
(c) Only licensed fire alarm contractors or general contractors may obtain key lock boxes;
(d) Contractors must obtain a fire department permit to install key lock box; and
(e) Owner or manager must obtain a fire department permit toinstall key lock box.
(f) Existing structures do not include existing apartment
complexes. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)
7-2A06. Permit applications. Applications for key lock box permits may be obtained from the City of Millington Fire Department, 4836 Navy Road,Millington, Tennessee 38053. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April 2001)
7-2A07. Appeal. Any party aggrieved by this chapter or the enforcement hereof may exercise appeal pursuant to general law. (as added by Ord. #2001-1,
7-2A08. Application of chapter. This chapter shall not apply to single family or two-family residential buildings. (as added by Ord. #2001-1, April
You can pry my keys from my cold, dead hands...
Never changed anything, just had a shotgun next to my bed ... slept like a baby.
So much for the First Amendment.
I live in a condo bldg and keep a deadbolt on my bedroom door, locks from the outside. They don’t have that key.
Forget this topic, the bigger question is who the hell cares about Iowa in selecting a POTUS in the primary?
A blue state parading some red for attention.
They would not have a key to your individual apartment.
Do they realize that once they step one inch inside they can be shot as the common crimminals they proved they are in castlr doctrine steaes (whch I happen to lie in)?
“All buildings or parts of buildings served by an internal automatic fire detection or suppression system, having a connection to a central monitoring station facility, shall be provided with a key lock box approved prior to installation by the city fire department.”
Of all the hundreds of commercial buildings we did, not one did we install the fire sprinkler shutoff inside the building, always outside where it was accessable to the fire department.
If there were automatated access gates a fire department lock box was provided to the automated gates only.
First they do not have keys to individual dwelling units. Secondly if they are responding to an alarm and have every reason to believe there is a fire or personal emergency they do have right of entry. You can not argue the castle doctrine if you shoot a fireman or EMT who gains entry to your dwelling in a reported emergency.
what do you stand in? ;)
You are right that is typical. Were you in the fire suppression business?
“who the hell cares about Iowa in selecting a POTUS in the primary?”
Only a handfull that are destroying the country with their corn!
I see. Everyone else is doing it so it must be OK. See, it's even written up in nice, official looking format /s
Nope built the buildings, and subcontracted the sprinkler systems!
And my shotgun is not loaded with shot.
I work in real estate at a investment and management firm (i.e. we're landlords).
It never really bothered me a bit if tenants change their locks (hell, I'd even recommend it), I only had a problem when the tenants forgot their keys...
FWIW. We try to avoid keeping a copy of the tenants keys, the reason being, if we keep them, and God forbid, someone were to break into our office, they would have keys to alot of apartments in alot of buildings (and those keys would be labeled).
I imagine they’d knock first.
On the other hand, if the resident chooses not to respond...
The whole thing is extremely awkward.
Personally, I would never give my key to anyone.
Did I forget to mention it's for the children? /s/s
Just how many cases of burglary or reports of unauthorized access have been reported due to the lock boxes? I mean surely it would be big news since these lock boxes are standard requirement of a nationally recoginzed code adopted by many States and Municipalities. But guess what? I sure as heck have never read of such a breach of security.
I had a small fit when selling two homes because of the lock boxes the realtor’s wanted to put on the doors.
I felt very uncomfortable knowing someone could enter my home when I wasn’t home.
I had them removed. It wasn’t worth the stress I felt.
Now the apartment we stayed in while transferring had a gate that needed a card to swipe before it would open. We were told emergency people had cards to enter the complex.
I don’t know if it’s wise to have those lock boxes. Some people in trusted positions cannot be trusted.
I used to do commercial plan review for a local city.
I wonder if those who argue for the fire department bursting through the building with axes to gain access in case of an emergency because they think lock boxes render the building vulnerable to security breaches realize bad guys could also smash their way in with an axe.
Do you have any idea how many thousand communities have had these Knox Box laws for decades?
Where are you from?
If there was an emergency then I expect that any castle doctrine PATRIOT would expect and help responders as long as they don’t expand their responsibilities.
If unexpected people break down my door in the middle of the night when I know I have no crimminal activity I will be trying to miss my dogs as I defend myself.
If police ask questions I will be sure to try to help. If they break into my home like a home invaader, I will try to send them to hell.And, if they can break into my home and I pay their salary. I should be able to break into their home on and charge them if the service is constitutional.
You do realize that having a Knox Box on the front of a building (which holds a key only to the doors of the complex, not the individual units) has nothing at all to do with the scenario you describe, right?
You not only lie in them, you misspell in them to. It is designed for access to maintenance boiler room etc. They dont have a key to your room.
Your comprehension is faulty. The code exempts dwelling units. It exempts Single Family or Two Family Dwelling Units. For apartment complexes it says keys will be required for all other rooms as specified in plan review. Rooms does not mean individual apartment dwelling units.
The key word which I think we can agree on is emergency. Outside of an actual emergency or a reasonable suspicion of one (FD sees smoke or paramedics were sent after a hang up 911 call) I would expect a reasonable person to take steps to protect themselves and their property from any intruder.
The headline is BS. No one is requiring that residents give their keys up to the City.
Lock boxes have been a condition of a business permit in many cities. They are supposed to be for the fire department and other emergency personnel to be able to get into a business if they need to.
Somehow I never imagined a fireman fumbling for the key to a lockbox when he had an axe at his ready and a plate glass window in front of him.
“Somehow I never imagined a fireman fumbling for the key to a lockbox when he had an axe at his ready and a plate glass window in front of him.”
Years ago, apartment building I was living at had arson fire. We evacuated all the apartments without issue. When fireman showed up they took door off my apartment with pry bars, if they had tried door knob they could have walked in, left it unlocked as I was leaving.
I said as much to my father (about leaving door unlocked), his comment was if you had the training to remove a door why not use it.
...Enshayan was working part time when he joined the council but now serves as director of the University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education. He will finish his council term, which runs through the end of the year.
But he added the effort is all part of the democratic process -— sometimes your ideas win and sometimes they don’t. Through his two terms, Enshayan has been on the short end of more than his share of 5-2 or 6-1 votes, but he said he doesn’t take those results personally.
Enshayan has a few ideas he feels Cedar Falls needs to address, no matter who fills the council seats in the fall. He would like to see an emphasis on in-fill development and a move away from building homes and businesses on the city’s outskirts. Additional efforts for energy efficiency would be another priority.
Finally, and what Enshayan sees as most important, he thinks city government needs to be more transparent in its decisions.
Enshayan has long bemoaned the lack of discussion about many issues and chose not to participate when city staffers on occasion called in council members two at a time to talk about important matters. The practice is legal, but skirts open meeting laws.
...Enshayan decided he will not run for re-election and will finish up next winter after an eight-year run on the council. When Enshayan made his decision, it cemented Schmidt’s own choice.
Schmidt is the owner of Art Store and More, located on the parkade. The business first opened in 1997 and moved to the downtown location eight years ago.
Schmidt prides herself on her ability to be a part of a team and doesn’t have any hot button issues on her agenda for the council.
“I HAVE A CONCERN ABOUT SPRAWL. I’m a reasonable person, but I think we need to think about that,” she said...
Interesting that they both like the (UN) village thing...
Banning guns and needing permits...