(WEST FRANKFORT, IL) — West Frankfort now requires building owners to install lock box systems on certain kinds of buildings in the city. The city council Tuesday night approved an ordinance saying that commercial and industrial buildings that have automatic alarm systems or automatic suppression systems, multi-family residential buildings that have a common corridor if the door is locked, government buildings and nursing care and assisted living facilities, to have lock boxes installed. The lock box must have a key inside it so firefighters can access the building in case of an emergency. The fire department already has systems in place in its vehicles where a code can be punched in to access your lock box in order to get your key to get in the building. That procedure would then be logged showing access had been gained. The ordinance also requires building owners who don’t have these boxes on all new construction to install them and existing structures have one year to comply. If a building owner doesn’t comply and the fire department has to break a door down in an emergency, the ordinance says the owner will be liable for the damage caused. Fines between $100 and $500 can also be assessed.

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