The Life-Saving Potential of Lockboxes
August 9, 2013
When an emergency happens and you need help as quick as possible, our firefighters and emergency responders are trained to get to you as quickly as possible and by whatever means necessary – including a forced entry through the front door or windows.
No one will ever fault a firefighter for going above and beyond to save a person’s life but either way, the homeowner will be stuck with a costly repair bill. That’s where a safety lockbox comes in.
Lockboxes are an essential part of the real estate business. We have all seen them from time to time hanging on the front door handle of homes that are for sale.
The function of a lockbox is simple. A lockbox is used to keep a spare key to the home stored in a safe location outside the home.The key is placed inside a secure combination lock that can only be opened with the correct combination number set by the user.
Recently, the use of lockboxes has expanded into the medical alert industry. Lockboxes provide an added layer of security for people living alone.
Many people experience medical emergencies when they are home alone and have locked themselves inside their homes. In situations such as these, the emergency responder will use any means necessary to enter the premise. If they have a lockbox outside the home, it will prevent damage to the home from forced entry.
Generally, the only local agency who can legally force entry into a home is the fire department. This may delay response time as the person has to wait for them to arrive. If the fire department has to force entry into a home, they will likely break down the door or break a window.
The costs of forced entry can add up quickly as the person will then have to replace said door or window. The cost of replacing a front door can be anywhere starting from hundreds of dollars to upwards of $1000 depending on the material it’s made of. There is also the additional burden on the person that once they are taken away in an ambulance, the home is left open and thereby vulnerable to theft. Check out this door replacement cost calculator for more information on how much it can cost.
Lockboxes are a simple and effective remedy to the above problems that forced-home entry poses. The local emergency response agency who arrives can be provided with the lockbox code by the dispatching company (such as Bay Alarm Medical). The lockbox user will provide the code to their medical alert company who will add it to their account profile, then that information will be pulled up by dispatchers in an emergency.
Noting it’s growing importance, several local fire departments have started offering programs to inform seniors, and other individuals with health issues, about the usefulness of lockboxes. More and more public institutions are recognizing the value of lockboxes for people living alone, or who may be alone for long periods of time. Check out the San Francisco Fire Deparment’s lockbox program, and be sure to ask your local fire department for more information.
You may be wondering about how safe it is to have a lockbox hanging from your front door, in clear view of everyone walking by. To alleviate this worry, most of our clients choose a more discreet location to place their lockbox. Sometimes they choose to place it on a gate or back door for more privacy. A discreet location is fine because you can specify to your medical alert provider where you have chosen to keep that lockbox so that the dispatchers will be able to find it.
To see what a lockbox looks like be sure to visit our Accessories Page. If you would like to purchase a lockbox please call our toll-free number at 1-877-522-9633 and request for one to be added to your order. If you would like to order one through our website, simply add on the lockbox accessory to your order on our ordering page.