It is important that emergency response personnel have clear access to fires and medical incidents. In the event of a fire or life-threatening medical emergency, fire personnel must be able to reach the scene as quickly as possible. In an emergency, a few seconds literally can mean the difference between life and death. How quickly crews can begin fighting a fire often will determine how successful they are in stopping the fire and preventing further damage. Fire Code requirements pertaining to emergency access were written to help the Fire Department's respond quickly and safely to all occupancies in the city.
Why Fire Lanes Are Important
We see fire lanes throughout the city from apartment complexes to shopping centers. Fire lanes are identified by a red curb and a fire lane sign. In some instances the curb may have the words "FIRE LANE" painted on it. Fire lanes are critical to the safety of life and property. Emergency vehicles are designed to meet the needs of rescue workers in many difference situations. To accommodate all the required equipment emergency vehicles are typically larger than most vehicles on the road. This means when fire lanes are blocked we are unable to get our equipment and vehicles close to the emergency and time is lost. Those 15 minutes that someone parks in a fire lane to get a coffee can cost someone else their home or even their life.
Gated Apartment Complex Gates
The Phoenix Fire Department requires automatic vehicle gates at residential and commercial properties to have a fire department key switch on both sides of the gate. This allows the emergency personnel to access the
property in the event of an emergency. In 2001 the Phoenix Fire Department went a step further and required residential property gates, like those found at apartment complexes, to have a preemption system installed. Preemption systems consist of two components. The first is a detector found on the gate attached to the control system. The second is an emitter on the emergency vehicle. The light and pattern transmitted from the vehicle mounted device triggers the detector to open the gate as the vehicle is pulling up to it. This prevents the vehicle from having to stop so someone can use the key switch helping to cut down on our response times to the emergency.
Want to help provide faster access to your property?
If you are looking for ways to help us respond and access your property or building in less time a Knox Rapid Entry System may be the answer. Knox is a national manufacture of emergency access systems from lock boxes to gate switches. The systems allow the emergency personnel to use their access keys to reduce time it takes entering your property or building. Please contact us for more information on options that may work for you.