Are You Up To Code?

Inspections are a means to identify and eliminate or reduce hazards which might result in life or property loss. Inspections also ensure that fire protection systems, such as sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and kitchen hood extinguishing systems are maintained in good working condition. In the event of a fire, losses will be minimized through early detection and suppression. Code enforcement is a proactive and cost effective approach to community fire protection.

Ten Common Fire Code Violations

Whenever routine maintenance is performed on your properties, keep fire safety in mind by taking a few minutes to verify that these simple, but important items are addressed. It will make a difference not only in your fire inspection, but more importantly, it will help to ensure the safety of your residents.

1. Obstructions in Exit Passageways – Remove any/all obstructions in exit passageways.

2. Illumination Exit – Provide illumination for all exit lights.

3. Extinguishers Maintained – Extinguishers must be maintained annually,or after each use, by a certified person.

4. Fire Alarm Systems Tested Annually – Fire alarm systems and its components must be tested at least annually, including but not limited to fire alarm boxes, audible devices, batteries, and smoke detectors.

5. Smoke Detectors Maintained – All smoke detectors must be maintained in operable condition.

6.Fire Doors “Closed” – Fire doors shall be kept in the “closed” position or held open by an approved device. The use of door stops, wedges, and other non approved hold-open devices are prohibited.

7. Fire Doors Self-Closing Maintained – Fire doors shall be equipped with self-closing devices and such devices shall be maintained in working order.

8. Extension Cords, Discontinue Use – Discontinue use of extension cords. Extension cords shall only be used for temporary wiring and shall not be substituted for permanent wiring. Extension cords shall not be attached to structures or be extended through walls, ceilings, floors, under or through doors or floor coverings. Extension cords may not be plugged into one another.

9. Electrical Covered – Electrical circuit breaker panels, junction boxes, and outlet boxes, shall be covered, and installation complete.

10. Clearance, Electrical – Provide 36 inches of clearance in front of electrical control boxes.

Knox Boxes - Key Vaults

Knox Box or Key Vaults are steel boxes mounted on the exterior or interior of buildings and are required on commercial properties.

They hold keys to the building and allow the Fire Department to efficiently access unattended buildings after hours while greatly diminishing the need to cause damage from forcible entry.

Learn more about ordering options at https://www.knoxbox.com/


Guidelines for the Installation of Key Vaults

In order to provide an efficient system for building access in emergency situations and limit property damage from forced entry, the following guidelines are recommended:

1. Key vaults must be an approved type made of heavy duty or extra heavy-duty construction.

2. Key vault locations should be approved by the Fire Department PRIOR to installation. For the key vault system to be effective, the following items should be considered:

  • Key vaults should be mounted adjacent to the primary point of first response to the premises for emergency access; typically this is the main entry door.Consideration in placement should be given to the location of Fire Department access roads, and other fire protection control equipment.
  • Key vaults should, in all cases, be mounted within ten-feet of the designated entry. Key vaults should be visible to first responders approaching the door.
  • Key vaults should not be visually or physically obstructed by landscaping or architectural elements.
  • Key vaults should not be mounted more than six-feet, nor less than five-feet above the surface level of the designated entry. Approval may be granted for other heights based on special circumstances.

3. Three full sets of keys are required. Keys necessary for entry shall be properly labeled. For example, master, front door, lobby door, etc. and attached to a substantially constructed key ring. Additional keys for fire protection equipment are required in the key vault.

4. To prevent the key vault door from binding with the keys inside, all keys should be placed on the hook at the back of the box.

5. It is recommended that all key vaults be electronically supervised to detect unauthorized entry. The City of Monroe accepts no liability for security breeches resulting from the use of the key vault system. This system appears to be the best available for addressing the complicated problem of building access; however, no system should be considered infallible.


City of Monroe Municipal Code on Lock Boxes

Fire Inspector:

Name Email Phone
Al Rufer ARufer@monroefiredept.com 608-329-2575

If you would like to have a Business Risk Reduction meeting or have any questions, please use the form below to connect with us.

Do You Have It In You?


Join the MFD Today

You have Successfully Subscribed!