[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wharton 7-13-2015 by Ord. No. O-08-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 136.
Editor's Note: This ordinance was originally adopted as Ch. 137 but was renumbered to maintain the alphabetical organization of the Code.
The Council of the Borough of Wharton determined that the health, welfare and safety of the citizens and business owners of the Borough of Wharton are promoted by requiring certain structures to have a key Knox-Box® installed on the exterior of the structure to aid the Wharton Volunteer Fire Department in gaining access to or within a structure when responding to calls for an emergency service, and to aid access into or within a building that is secured or into which it is unduly difficult to gain entry due either to being unoccupied or to the occupants being unable to respond.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
- A secure rapid entry system that is designed to be used by Fire Department personnel in the event of an emergency to gain entry into a structure by using the enclosed owner-provided key(s). This box is usually mounted on the exterior of the building in a location that is specified by the Borough Fire Official, Fire Chief, or Building Official. All boxes shall be UL (Underwriters' Laboratories) certified and approved by the Borough Fire Official or Fire Chief.
- SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR
- A member of the Fire Department who is recommended by the Fire Department with confirmation by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wharton who is in charge of the Knox-Box® program.
The following structures shall be equipped with a Knox-Box®, of a UL type and size approved by the Borough Fire Official, Fire Chief, or System Administrator:
New commercial or industrial structures.
Existing commercial buildings equipped with an automatic fire detection and/or suppression system.
Existing commercial buildings making improvements. All existing commercial buildings constructing improvements that require Planning Board approval shall install a Knox-Box® prior to the issuance of the final certificate of occupation.
Multifamily residential structures, subject to inspection by the Department of Community Affairs.
All buildings that require a Knox-Box® shall install one within one year of the effective date of this chapter.
It will be the responsibility of the Borough Fire Official, Fire Chief, or System Administrator to approve all purchases of Knox-Box® systems from the Knox-Box® manufacturer.
The size and model of the Knox-Box® installed shall be determined by the number of keys to be placed in the box and the specifications set forth by the Knox-Box® manufacturer.
The number of keys in the Knox-Box® cannot exceed the maximum number recommended by the box manufacturer.
All Knox-Boxes® shall be installed to the side of the main business door.
All Knox-Boxes® shall be mounted 50 to 60 inches from the ground and shall be kept free of any obstructions, including snow and ice.
In the event that the Knox-Box® cannot be installed at the aforesaid location and/or height, the Borough Fire Official or Fire Chief may designate in writing a different location and installation specifications.
All Knox-Boxes® may have a tamper switch installed in the building as an intrusion/burglar alarm.
Purchase and installation of the Knox-Box® will be the sole responsibility of the building owner.
The operator of the building shall immediately notify the Borough Fire Official or Fire Chief when any locks are added, changed or rekeyed which cannot currently be opened by the current key set in the Knox-Box®. Additional keys shall be added to the Knox-Box® immediately.
The contents of the lock box shall include (but not be limited to) the following:
Keys to locked points of ingress or egress, whether on the interior or exterior of such buildings.
Keys to all mechanical rooms.
Keys to all locked electrical and utility rooms.
Keys to elevators and their control rooms.
Keys to the fire alarm panels and fire suppression systems.
Keys to reset pull stations or other fire protective devices.
Building access cards, devices, or methods as needed.
Access to the Knox-Box® Master Key will be limited to the three Chiefs and the System Administrator.
No fire personnel shall carry a Knox-Box® Master Key unless at an emergency scene.
All fire personnel having access to the Knox-Box® Master Key will be subject to a comprehensive background check annually or until they have relinquished the position and no longer have access to the key.
All fire personnel with access to the Knox-Box® Master Key must notify the Chief of Police immediately of any charges pending, whether civil or criminal, or any other event that would jeopardize their ability to have access to the key.
All Knox-Box® Master Keys shall be installed in a Knox KeySecure® or similar system installed in the fire apparatus.