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The original item was published from 3/21/2016 4:57:23 PM to 5/28/2016 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: March 21, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Fire Department Launches Residential Lock Box Program

The Fire Department kicked off a new program this March that will allow residents to obtain a lock box for their home containing a key only the Sterling Heights Fire Department can access if called to respond for an emergency at the residence.

The Sterling Heights Fire Department kicked off a new program this March that will allow residents to obtain a lock box for their home containing a key only the Sterling Heights Fire Department can access if called to respond for an emergency at the residence. According to Fire Chief Chris Martin, this voluntary program will make it easier for the Fire Department to gain access to a home without causing any damage.

“The Sterling Heights Fire Department is frequently confronted with situations where residents call for our assistance and yet are not mobile enough to open the doors and let us in,” Martin said. “All too often, these situations result in the need for the Fire Department to force entry into the residence. While every attempt is made to limit the damage caused in the process of making entry, some damage is inevitable. The lock box program will help the Fire Department quickly access the residence without causing damage.”

The Residential Lock Box Program will mimic the Commercial Lock Box Program that the Fire Department has managed successfully for over 30 years. The Fire Department has a highly secure system for maintaining the keys to gain access to the lock boxes, which does not allow the key to be removed from the fire apparatus unless a proper access code is entered into the devise. Any use of the key is also tracked within the system.

Over the years, many Sterling Heights residents have attempted to ease this issue by purchasing a personal lock box, hiding a key outside the property or by providing the Fire Department with a garage code. However, because there is no standardization to these methods, these individual efforts have proven unreliable and difficult to track, Martin said.
“This new program was developed to ensure that there is proper information received from residents and that information can be entered into the CAD system which will notify responders of the presence of a Lock Box when they are in route,” Martin said.

There any many options available to Sterling Heights residents, ranging from $35 for a basic model that hangs over the top of the door, to many other options that include some styles that can be placed inside the brickwork of a home.

The Sterling Heights Fire Department will also have a loaner program designed to receive boxes donated from area businesses of other residents and loaned to those who need a box but may not have the means to get one on their own. When the program was being developed, Dino Juncevic, owner of Utica Van Dyke Towing Company, reached out to the Fire Department with the offer to purchase the first boxes for the loaner program. Mr. Juncevic purchased 30 boxes for the Fire Department loan program and today he presented the first one to Mrs. Leonie Sauer.

For more information on the program, contact the Sterling Heights Fire Department by phone at 586-446-2950, or by emailing firedepartment@sterling-heights.net, or visit the Fire Department Website at sterling-heights.net which will soon contain step-by-step instructions on the process for obtaining a Residential Lock Box. The Fire Department is seeking more donations for the loaner program; please contact if interested.

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