Township of Union, NJ
Hunterdon County
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[Ord. No. 2016-9]
The Governing Body of the Township of Union finds that in order to better protect the property and welfare of certain business, business patrons, residents, members of the public and fire company members, a rapid entry box system, "Knox-Box®," or equivalent, for rapid entry into certain buildings and onto certain properties in the event of a report of a fire emergency is required.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
The following words, as used in this section, shall have the meanings set forth below unless the context in which it is used clearly required a different meaning.
AFFECTED STRUCTURE OR AFFECTED BUILDINGS
Shall mean any of the structures or buildings described in subsection 12-1.3 below.
MASTER KEY SECURITY
Shall mean the instrument used to gain access to the various rapid entry system boxes to be utilized as a result of the provisions of this section. The Fire Department shall establish a system of security and procedure to limit access to any master key(s) to authorized personnel in times of emergency. The Fire Department shall, to the extent feasible and practical, use the latest technological advances available to preserve and enhance the security of the master key(s).
MULTIPLE DWELLINGS
Shall mean a residential building containing three or more dwelling units.
RAPID ENTRY BOX SYSTEM
Shall mean a locking vault-like container, "Knox-Box®," or equivalent, permanently mounted into the affected structure or building and accessible from outside of such structure or building and being capable of being opened by master key security.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
a. 
The following structures or buildings shall be required to have installed a rapid entry box system:
1. 
All buildings having an automatic fire detection or suppression system.
2. 
Any industrial or warehouse building or structure.
3. 
Hotels, motels or multiple dwellings which have locked main entrances at any time during the day or night or which have locked boiler rooms, electrical rooms, basements, sprinkler control rooms or elevator control rooms.
4. 
All educational and day-care buildings or structures.
5. 
All mercantile buildings and structures, including shopping centers.
6. 
All office buildings and structures.
7. 
All buildings and structures of public assembly, including churches, restaurants and movie theaters.
b. 
In addition to the above, the following properties are required to be equipped with a high-security padlock or a high-security key switch:
1. 
All commercial and industrial properties protected by fences, gates and related barriers which, at the time of adoption of this section, are secured by using a padlock or electronically operated or automatic gates or other control circuits.
2. 
All commercial and industrial properties which, after the effective date of this section, plan to utilize fences, gates and related barriers to be secured by padlock or electronically operated or automatic gates or other control circuits.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 12-1 was adopted December 7, 2016 by Ord. No. 2016-9.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
The following buildings or structures shall be exempt:
a. 
Owner-occupied one- and two-family dwellings identified by the Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C. 5:23, et seq.) as R-3 and R-4.
b. 
Any building or structure staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
c. 
Any building or structure already constructed or for which a building permit has been issued as of the effective date of this section and which is less than 5,000 square feet in area, except for educational and day-care buildings or structures, those buildings and structures which fall into applicability classification found in subsection 12-1.3a, 1 or 2 of this section, and any houses of worship in the Borough.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
a. 
Each affected building or structure shall cause an appropriate rapid entry box to be permanently mounted at the main entrance to the building or property or other location as may be deemed appropriate by the Fire Chief of the Fire Company having jurisdiction of the area in which the building or property is located and the Building Inspector for the Township of Union. The rapid entry box shall be accessible from outside the structure or building and shall be placed at a minimum height of five feet and a maximum of six feet above final grade or as otherwise approved by the applicable Fire Chief. The location on the outside of the building or structure shall be, as nearly as possible, uniform among similar types of structures in order to promote quick accessibility upon arrival of fire personnel at the scene of an emergency. Each rapid entry box shall be of sufficient size and configuration to allow the required contents as set forth in subsection 12-1.6 below to be conveniently stored therein. In order to assure acceptability of the rapid entry box chosen, each owner, tenant or other responsible party of each affected structure or building shall receive approval from the applicable Fire Chief as to the size and configuration of the proposed rapid entry box prior to installation.
The actual type of system to be utilized, its location, and its function shall be decided by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction and the building inspector for the Township of Union.
b. 
All rapid entry boxes, high-security padlocks or key switches installed pursuant to this section must be Underwriter Laboratories (U.L.) certified and approved by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction.
c. 
High-security padlocks or key switches shall be installed in a location to be approved by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction of the building or property.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
The rapid entry box for each building or structure shall contain a separately and clearly labeled key for each locked area within the building or structure (e.g. boiler rooms, electrical rooms, sprinkler control rooms, elevator control rooms, etc.), the building plan of any structure or building in excess of 30,000 square feet, sprinkler keys, elevator keys and information concerning any hazardous materials contained within the building or structure and a clear indication as to the part of the building or structure within which such hazardous materials are contained or any other information as directed by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction.
At the discretion of the Fire Chief having jurisdiction, any supporting documentation may be placed in an alternate, safe location which is quickly and easily accessible by any first responders after having gained entry to the building or structure by utilizing the keys contained in the rapid entry box.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
All existing buildings other than those exempted in subsection 12-1.4 hereof shall comply with the provisions of this section within 12 months of the date it becomes effective. All newly constructed buildings or properties installing fencing or other barrier-type structures, not yet occupied, or buildings which are under construction at the time this section becomes effective shall comply with these provisions prior to the fire detection or suppression system being accepted and approved for services or prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, as the case may be.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
a. 
Copies of applications or other appropriate documentation for each rapid entry box system shall be maintained at the municipal building. Such systems shall be installed in coordination with the Fire Chief having jurisdiction.
b. 
The Public Safety Coordinator or other appropriate Township official shall maintain a master list of each rapid entry box system in the Township, including its location, entry information and the contact information for the responsible party and/or property owner.
c. 
Owners of any properties in the Township having rapid entry box systems in place as of the date of the adoption of this section shall notify the Fire Chief having jurisdiction and the Public Safety Coordinator of the existence, location, specifications and entry information for each such system.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This section was adopted December 9, 2016 by Ord. No. 2016-9.
[Ord. No. 2016-9]
Any property owner or building owner who fails to comply with or who is in violation of the terms of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or by imprisonment up to 90 days and/or by a period of community service not to exceed 90 days, at the discretion of the court. Each and every day that a violation of this section exists shall constitute a separate offense.