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Does your department force entry on alarm bell or activated alarms if there is no key holder is available? Do you try to utilize thru the lock entry? . Is there a policy in place if you think it is a malfunctioning alarm? Reply in Tactical Building Blocks group.

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Chief at my department, with nothing showing we wait for a key holded if this is a repeated alarm. When this may be a first time alarm we will force entry trying thur the lock first, if needed entry is is made as needed. not all of our commercal buildings have knox boxes.
We have no department wide SOP on forcing entry on "nothing showing " alarm activations. However, our B.C. has made it clear he wants us to gain access to these buildings to investigate the cause of the activation. Generally facilities have key boxes or on site personnel, security, building superintendants, etc. occasionally when responding to smaller commercial buildings, small multi dwellings, or single family houses we need to make a "delicate entry" . Good size up by the first in truck co often finds an open/ unlocked upper floor window, a basement window we can force, or a door we can gain access to without doing excessive damage. If a key holder is responding, an ETA is determined and after determining that the building is "cold" from the exterior all companies except the first in engine and truck are released. It should be noted that making entry in these calls pays off on a regular basis, as we often find water leaks, food on the stove, or smoldering trash cans before they cause extensive damage.
We also have several college campuses in our first in territory, where we receive many activated alarms daily. Where security is on hand, forcing the door is not an issue. In many of our high rise buildings we use the lock-box key in which we try and get a master key during a pre-plan. Again, it varies per incident. If no smoke or flames showing, we will do a 360 and investigate further. With the use of thermal imagers now, this gives us a little play room. If no evidience of danger, we will stay on scene until a key holder arrives. Of course the slightest evidence of any danger we will not hesitate to force entry.
We use a KnoxBox Rapid Entry System. It has saved numorous hours of waitng and countless dollars in property loss as well as structural damage. www.knoxbox.com. We implemented the program about 5 years ago and gave all businesses (1) year to comply with the fire code and then all new business is required to have a box prior to final inspections.

The boxes are safe hence Knox Box (Fort Knox). They are secure. The have a secure key that is in every rig. It's really helped us alot. We also use them as a public service. Locked out ect.

FireDawg
We will wait for a key holder, only if it is a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, we will force the door. This practice is slowing going away as the town has adopted a mandatory knox box policy for all new construction or renovations, regardless of value. The owers that do not fall into either catagory usually order one after we break in once.
Hey Frank,

Knox Box First, Key holder second, common sence third, force entry last resort. A speedy approach with All buildings and homes TIC scanned with windows and doors checked upon arrival. PD is usually contacting owner for permission to gain entry. We have gotten keys from neighbors, under matts, mail boxes, porch lights and the opean car in the driveway with a garage door opener. Due to Alarms being confused as CO or Smoke we also use a 4 gas meter. We have experienced Natural gas leak activated co alarms ! Nothing is routine !

STAY SAFE !! Dennis
Have you considered using the K-tool. Check it out on the link below. THe face of the cylinder is pulled off by the k tool and then the keys open the lock.

http://www.allhandsfire.com/page/AHF/PROD/forcibleentry/FHU-KTK


Todd McKee said:
Has anyone trained on Drilling locks? I took a class on this and it looked easy but when i bought locks to try myself WOW it was hard!
We used to wait for key holders, now I don't. Due to several incidents in recent history, if we get an electronically reported alarm, and there is no key holder or key available on arrival, we gain entry by least damaging method, regardless of type of call, medic alert, fire alarm, co alarm.

I feel like I can easily justify my actions with this, even if it brings a little criticism, but I could not live with myself if I waited and there was problem. Those same admin types who get nervous about fire officers doing this are the same ones who will distance themselves from you if you didn't gain entry and there was a problem.

When I started doing this, I figured I'd get some complaints, because many times key holders get there within minutes of us gaining entry, but I've gotten nothing but apologies. And if I got a commission on every Knox box I've caused to be sold I'd be doing pretty good.

Bryan Lafleur
"There is too much tact and not enough courage in today's American society". Gene Duncan, USMC ret'd.
I agree Frank, the K tool is our tool of choice on investigations and works on 99% of the commercial locks in my area. Many of those cylinder locks can also be unscrewed, and when your done in the bldg, you can lock the door back and screw the cylinder back in(the newer ones have floating rings that prevent unscrewing requiring the K-tool). It wont work with the key anymore, but it appears secure.

Bryan Lafleur
"There is too much tact and not enough courage in today's American society". Gene Duncan, USMC ret'd.

Frank Montagna said:
Have you considered using the K-tool. Check it out on the link below. THe face of the cylinder is pulled off by the k tool and then the keys open the lock.

http://www.allhandsfire.com/page/AHF/PROD/forcibleentry/FHU-KTK


Todd McKee said:
Has anyone trained on Drilling locks? I took a class on this and it looked easy but when i bought locks to try myself WOW it was hard!
Depending on the situation. If there is smoke or flames issuing from the building upon arrival, we force entry through the lock.

If it is just an investigation for alarm activation with nothing issuing, and the key-holder is not available or has a delay of 15>, then we either go through a roof hatch or go theough the lock.
Hey Frank
We used to have a 20 minute rule. Now we are pretty much saturated with Supra Boxes. The option to FE the builidng is a common sense thing, left up to the idividual Company Officer. Obvious situations will require FE. Many times with commercial buildings we can see in, we will not FE, but we always wait for the key holder. We have been pretty lucky with this system. Be safe
Russ Chapman, Milford
hey frank
NHRFR will roll 3 + 1 and a BC on an alarm activation We have knox box systems in alot of bldgs so that helps. If there is nothing apparent, they will usually try to wait 4 a keyholder, but if there is doubt, forcible entry has beeen conducted. Sometimes that encourages an owner where we have many AA's to install a knox box. Unnecessary damageis not tolerated, but we would rather get in and investigate than figure it is nothing. leave, and hope we won't be back
Be safe
AA

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