[Adopted 5-24-2016 by Ord. No. 16-04]
The Council of the Town of Clinton determined that the health welfare and safety of the citizens and business owners of the Town of Clinton are promoted by encouraging certain structures to have a key box installed on the exterior of the structure to aid the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department in gaining access to or within a structure when responding to calls for emergency service, and to aid access into or within a building that is secured or is unduly difficult to gain entry due to being either unoccupied or the occupants being unable to respond.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
- COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE
- A building which is or is intended to be occupied by a single individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership or joint-stock company, and used for nonresidential purposes.
- The Town of Clinton Volunteer Department.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Town of Clinton Volunteer Fire Department.
- FIRE OFFICIAL
- The Fire Official of the Town of Clinton, appointed in accordance with Chapter 77 of the Code of the Town of Clinton.
- INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE
- A building intended for or incidental to use as a factory, mill, shop, processing plant, assembly plant, fabricating plant, warehouse, or a research and development facility; engineering, architectural or designing facilities.
- MIXED-USE BUILDING
- A building that contains at least one floor devoted to allowed nonresidential uses and at least one devoted to allowed residential uses.
- UNIFORM FIRE CODE
- The State of New Jersey Code regarding fire code regulations contained within N.J.A.C. 5:70 et seq., promulgated by N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq.
Pursuant to Section 506.1 of the Uniform Fire Code, the Town Fire Official has determined that the following types of structures are subject to the requirement of installing a key box system:
All commercial buildings under construction are encouraged to provide a temporary key box or other approved means for emergency access before construction begins. Approval shall be given by the Fire Chief or his/her designated agent.
If a property owner chooses to install a key box, it shall be of a type approved by the Department. The size and model of the key box installed shall be determined by the number of keys to be placed in the box and the specifications set forth by the key box manufacturer. The key box must be keyed to open with the key that the Department uses to access existing key boxes within the Town.
The number of keys in the key box cannot exceed the maximum number recommended by the box manufacturer.
All key boxes shall be installed at a location and height above the ground mutually agreed upon by the property owner and the Fire Chief or his/her designated agent. Consideration regarding the placement of key boxes shall be given to whether the building is a historic structure or a contributing structure to a historic district, and/or to the historic character of the Town. The determination of the location and height of the key box shall be confirmed in writing by the Fire Chief or his/her designee.
All key boxes may have a tamper switch installed in the building as an intrusion/burglar alarm.
All property with an electronic security gate shall have the key box installed outside of the gate.
Purchase and installation of the key box will be the sole responsibility of the building owner or operator.
The owner or operator of the building shall immediately notify the Fire Chief or his/her designated agent when any locks are added, changed, or rekeyed which cannot currently be opened by the current key set in the key box. Additional keys shall be added to the key box immediately. The owner and operator of the building shall be responsible for the key box to be in proper working condition and to replace or make repairs as may be necessary.
The owner or operator of the building shall immediately notify the Fire Chief or his/her designee if any changes in the location of the key box are to be made, and such changes must be approved by the Fire Chief or his/her designee.
The contents of the key box shall include at least 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 elevator 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 or security access cards, as needed.
Keys to any other areas as requested by the Fire Official or Fire Chief.
Any other items reasonably required by the Fire Official or Fire Chief.
The owner of any of the types of properties enumerated in § 10-26 hereunder that elects not to install a key box, shall apply for a variance pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.14 and execute a release agreement, which shall release the Town and the Department for all liability for any damages resulting from the Town or the Department gaining access to such property in the case of an emergency. Additionally, such agreement shall state that the Department and the Town are not responsible for securing such property after entry is made. The agreement shall be a form to be provided by the Town and available from the Town Fire Official.
The following structures are exempt from the mandate of § 10-26 hereunder to apply for a variance and execute a release agreement in the event the property owner does not install a key box system:
Structures occupied by the Town of Clinton Fire Department, First Aid and Rescue Squad, and Police Department,
Rental storage facilities where there is a single lock on the separate storage pods that are renter supplied; provided, however, that the entry security gates(s) have a key box if electronically controlled, or are locked with a master key issued by the landlord to all tenants.
Mixed-use buildings that are occupied by the owner or operator as a primary residence.
All new construction and new occupancies by tenants subject to this article shall have a key box installed and operational or execute the agreement required by § 10-30 hereunder prior to occupancy. All structures in existence on the effective date of this section and subject to this article shall have 90 days from enactment date of this article to have a key box installed and operational or execute the agreement required by § 10-30 hereunder.
The Fire Chief is authorized to issued summonses for violations of this article. Nothing hereunder shall limit the power of the Fire Official to issue violation notices pursuant to applicable codes and regulations. Violations shall be abated within 30 days of service of the notice on the owner, owner's designated agent, or tenant of the structure in question.
Any person who is found to be in violation of any portion of this article or any order of the Fire Official or Fire Chief shall be subject to a penalty and/or fine of $300. Failure to install the required key box within 30 days of the date of the violation notice enables the Town to install the required device or equipment at the owner's expense. Each day that such violation shall continue after notification shall be considered a separate violation.