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 Register Your Alternate Key Holder

How will the paramedics enter your residence when your home alone, the doors are locked and you cannot unlock them? Provide a readily available house key via an alternate key holder, registered with the 9-1-1 center, so their entry can be quick and non intrusive.

When you call 9-1-1 for service, often the Fire/EMS or the Police will have a need to enter you home quickly. When you are not able to unlock your entry door or not at home (such as a fire alarm), what will they do? They look for an unlocked door, an open window or another non intrusive entry point. When time is critical they may proceed with a procedure they are trained to do and that is a "forced entry."

The Fire Department has an impressive collection of tools specifically designed to accomplish a forced entry into a structure, often with minimal damage, however some damage may occur and the procedure wastes precious time.

Businesses accomplish this quick access through the use of a "Rapid key entry system" (Knox Box) that stores a spare key in a locked box located at the entry door and is accessible only to the Fire/EMS Department. However, homeowners seldom have access to the use of this system.

Instead, call the non-emergency number at the 9-1-1 center and inquire if they have the ability to register an alternate key holder. If they do, ask a trusted neighbor or two to be a key holder for use in an emergency, and register the neighbors' name with the 9-1-1 center. If the 9-1-1 center does not have a registration form use the one at the top of this page.

While you're on the phone with non-emergency 9-1-1, it's okay to ask about their guidelines to register additional information regarding your property and the occupants. This information may be included with your address when any Fire, Law Enforcement, or EMS/Life Squad personnel respond to an emergency call from your home. See the page on " It's Okay to Ask" for additional details about this.

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