Borough Council OKs commercial Knox-Box ordinance

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The Brielle Borough Council approved a Knox-Box ordinance for commercial properties. FILE PHOTO

BRIELLE — The borough council approved a Knox-Box ordinance Monday to grant Brielle firefighters entry to businesses in an emergency as quickly as possible.

The ordinance applies to commercial properties in the borough. Borough-owned properties such as borough hall and school-board owned properties such as Brielle Elementary School are exempted.

“It exempts municipal buildings for two reasons. It’s a cost factor and the police already have keys to these buildings anyway, so why incur a cost needlessly,” said Councilman Tim Shaak. “The police are always on scene first, so by the time the fire department gets there, it’ll already be open.”

Knox-Box systems are key boxes made to grant fire officials fast entry to businesses in town for emergency response access without forced-entry damage. Each box is locked, with a master key in a Knox-Box set up in a borough fire engine or the fire chief’s truck. Should an emergency arise, fire officials can use the master key to access the building in need.

As someone who spent 30 years with the fire department and eight years as its chief, Councilman Shaak said, “I’ve been in that position where you’re standing there waiting for a key holder to respond to the scene,” he said. “It’s an extreme delay.”

Businesses will need to purchase their own Knox-Boxes, which Councilman Shaak guessed might cost a few hundred dollars.

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

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