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Building Requirements

Key Box Systems

A key box system provides a rapid and reliable access method to buildings to determine the cause of a fire alarm or other fire protection system activation without the expense of having to repair doors or windows damaged due to forced entry by the fire department. All necessary access keys to the building are marked and kept in the key box. The fire department's master key is kept under strict supervision and security.

Access to Structures or Areas

  • Access Boxes: The AHJ shall have the authority to require an access box(es) to be installed in an accessible location where access to or within a structure or area is difficult because of security.

  • Access to Gated Subdivisions or Developments: The AHJ shall have the authority to require fire department access be provided to gated subdivisions or developments through the use of an approved device or system.

  • Access Maintenance: The owner or occupant of a structure or area, with required fire department access as specified in 10.12 or 10.12.2, shall notify the AHJ when the access is modified in a manner that could prevent fire departments access.

The following are the installation /design guidelines when such a key box system is provided.

Procedures for Obtaining Key Box

The following steps must be followed to obtain a key box.

  1. Obtain an Authorization Form from the representative of the appropriate fire department (A.H.J.) and complete the necessary information.

  2. Execute a check to the key box company in the correct amount for the model selected (See mounting comments below) and all associated charges.

  3. Return both the completed form and the check to the appropriate fire department (A.H.J.) Do not mail the items directly to the key box company as they must be executed by the A.H.J.

  4. The fire department will check the form for completeness, counter sign the authorization form and forward the entire package to the key box company.

The key box will arrive in about six (6) weeks after the order is placed. It will arrive in an open position and you must contact the fire department (A.H.J.) in order to have the key box locked.


The following guidelines are provided for locating the key box however the specific location shall be coordinated with the authority having jurisdiction (A.H.J.) prior to installation.

  • Installation height of the key box shall be not more than six feet (6') or as specifically approved by the A.H.J.

  • The key box should not be hidden by shrubbery or other screening material

  • The key box should be located to the right of the door nearest to the fire alarm panel, if the building is so equipped. Again, the specific location should be coordinated with the A.H.J. to insure the adequacy of access to the key box after installation


The key box should be mounted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions which are included with the box upon delivery. It is essential that the key box be mounted securely and shall be a recessed model unless otherwise approved by the A.H.J. Any firm who deems it appropriate may also order the key box equipped with a tamper switch that can then be tied into the firm's burglar alarm for increased security.

Key Identification

For ease of identification the following color coding key tag system is recommended:

Access Doors: Green
Elevators: White
Sprinkler/Water Valves: Blue
Fire Alarm Panels: Red
Miscellaneous: Yellow