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May 1, 2012

Security unit installed at McCreary Center

SCC teams with WCFD to prevent property damage

WHITLEY CITY —  Somerset Community College has teamed with the Whitley City Volunteer Fire Department to ensure that emergency responders may safely enter the structures at McCreary Center Campus without causing additional property damage.

    McCreary Center is the latest SCC facility to have a Knox Box installed. The box is designed to hold a key to the facility’s doors to allow firefighter access without forced entry or waiting for a keyholder to arrive.

    According to Whitley City Fire Chief Tony Miller, the unit could save as much as 45 minutes in the event of a fire or other life-threatening event. Miller estimated that his department is dispatched approximately 300 times per year with about 80 of those being alarm calls.

    “I want to commend SCC for initiating this effort,” the chief said. “The box can save time, money and further damage.”

    The box at McCreary Center is recessed into the wall near the front entrance. SCC Security Supervisor Ken noted that a camera is trained on the steel unit for added protection.

    SCC has already installed the units at its facilities in Somerset, London, Albany. The college’s Russell County property is next in line. In addition to the McCreary Center Knox Box, SCC purchased the box which has been mounted in one of WCFD’s fire trucks. Estep encourages schools, agencies, commercial businesses and even homeowners to consider installing their own Knox Box.

    “It costs only about $260 to buy for their own building and they don’t have to worry about the fire department’s box,” Estep said, adding that SCC does not have access to the WCFD box. “This program is good for the community. We’re trying to be as proactive; the box pays for itself when you consider how much it would be to replace the glass if someone had to break out a door or window.”

    Miller added, “It is especially good for structures where repetitive calls are not unusual.”

    The box which the fire department keeps is equipped to store more than 5,000 different codes. It can tell who has opened the box, what time they opened it, and how long the key was removed from the box. The key will open any box at any location with the Knox Box.

    The chief noted that the boxes must be ordered through the fire department. For more information, call 376-2507.

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