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.
    • To promptly identify your building as one that uses a key vault, and to prevent forced entry by emergency personnel, we require Fire Department alert decals (e.g. Knox Company stock #1001) on each exterior door or door frame of the building near the lock cylinder. Regarding label placement for a group of doors, one label for each pair of doors or a group of contiguous doors should suffice.
  3. Three full sets of keys are required. Keys necessary for entry shall be properly labeled 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 Madison 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.